Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

And Now, The Comedic Stylings Of Reggie Brown

June 20th, 2011

By Arturo R. García

Didja hear the one about the guy who impersonated President Obama in front of a room full of Republicans? Turns out he was allowed to make fun of a black man, but not a Bachmann.

Thank you, I’m here all week.

But seriously, folks, if you watch the video above, you see that Obama impersonator Reggie Brown got off to a good start with his set at the Republican Leadership Conference. A transcript, and other “highlights,” are under the cut.

My favorite month is February, Black History Month. You see, Michelle, she celebrates the full month, and, you know, I celebrate half.

My father was a black man from Kenya, and my mother was a white woman from Kansas, so yes – my mother loved a black man. And no, she was not a Kardashian.

Most of you know, I still haven’t been able to quit smoking. I’m afraid I might need some outside help. Take a look at this picture somebody snapped of me in the 2008 campaign … Yeah, one year later, someone snapped this photo.
(A picture is shown of Obama with five cigarettes in his mouth)

I need help! Somebody! But the worst part is, presidents age so quickly. Now, look, this is general George Washington before he agreed to be our first president … he’s looking nice and young. This is President Washington while he was our President … and this is George Washington today.
(A picture is shown of former first lady Barbara Bush’s head on Washington’s body. The audience laughs, boos can be heard.)

See what I mean? Now, here’s Dubya before 9/11 …
(A picture is shown of George W. Bush on the phone. The audience cheers and applauds.)
He’s looking good, decisive, on point … and now after 9/11.
(Another picture of Bush is shown. The audience laughs)
Not so good. Confused. Now, look at this, I love this photo. We were ready to take on the world.
(A picture of the Obamas is shown.)
I had my team of experts use the latest computer technology to predict what Michelle and I are gonna look like at the end of my first term.
(A picture of Fred and Ethel from “Sanford and Son” is shown. The audience laughs.)

Conference chairman Charlie Davis would later say, ““He was funny the first 10 or 15 minutes” – in other words, the period covering the Obama jokes – “but it was inappropriate, it was getting ridiculous.”

So when did Brown start to work too blue? Go fig, when he started mocking some prominent Republicans:

The impersonator took a shot at former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, saying Pawlenty missed the conference because “he’s having his foot surgically removed from his mouth.”

“Don’t worry: it’s covered under Obamneycare … along with spinal transplants,” Brown said.

Pawlenty has struggled this week after previewing his criticism of former Gov. Mitt Romney’s health care overhaul in Massachusetts that was a model for Democrats’ national plan. Pawlenty first called it “Obamneycare,” a hybrid of “Romneycare” and “Obamacare.” But when given the opportunity to use the term while sharing the stage with Romney during a debate Monday night in New Hampshire, he balked.

Pawlenty later said it was a mistake not to offer a stronger criticism.

The impersonator joked about Romney’s Mormon faith and about polygamy, and Rep. Michele Bachmann’s tea party support.

Organizers then cut off Brown’s microphone and turned on music. He was shown off the stage.

For his part, Brown seemed to take the whole thing in stride. He told WMAQ-TV he was yanked because of time constraints, and got a warm reception at a RLC after-party Saturday night. Then he moved on to a Sunday night gig doing a few bits at a WWE show in Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, the joke has ended up on the RLC: even having an Obama impersonator appear was the kind of thing GOP stalwarts Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal said during the conference the party shouldn’t be doing. And now more people are talking about Brown’s appearance than the fact that Texas Libertarian Ron Paul and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman finished atop a straw poll held at the conference, ahead of Pawlenty, Romney, Bachmann and the lone POC candidate, Herman “Muslims get the special oath” Cain.

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Categories: barack obama, comedy, politics, race & representations, Reggie Brown, Republican Leadership Conference, Republican Party, stereotypes

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