Thursday, February 16, 2006

Michelle Kwan Joke Goes Bad

You think it’s easy making a living selling jokes? Well, actually it is. I mean I’m not shoveling coal here. But you’re always one joke away from the unemployment line – and since you’re an independent contractor there is no unemployment. Just think of all the public figures who say something stupid and spend several days trying to apologize their way out of it. You can screw up very easily with humor, especially volume humor. I often think we’re paid for what we don’t say – being able to get in and out without anyone getting hurt. Leno is great at it of course, although he made a joke about eating dog meat that infuriated South Korea. It was right after one of their speed skaters was wiped out in a previous Olympics, and they were not in the mood for kidding around. I once wrote a Cher joke and one of her fans in the Mid-West didn't appreciate it at all. My bosses laughed it off, but it was clear that if this guy ever got his hands on me, I’d end up with more new parts than Cher herself. And don’t even start with the columns. I wrote one that led to weeks of meetings. Some people insisted I had insulted the government of Tibet.
These are unpleasant occasions and today was one of them. I wrote a Michelle Kwan joke implying she was a quitter and one of the radio stations fired us. Oh well. The bosses seemed philosophical about it, but I did get a dressing down. My comedy isn’t normally mean but you slip sometimes writing 50 jokes a day – anyone of which could blow up on you.
Not that I have any complaints about women’s figure skating - I’m still way, way ahead. Tonya Harding saw to that a long time ago.


At 11:57 PM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

You should have stuck with a "pulled groin" motif.

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

It was a bad week for athletes: Michelle Kwan pulled out of the Olympics and Lance Armstrong pulled out of Sheryl Crow.

Uh oh, there goes another radio station.

At 1:50 AM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

Now that's gold.


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