Step aside, John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet. When it comes to national comedians, you’re not so funny anymore.
It’s been a while since Colorado’s two longtime Democratic presidential candidates had their turn in the satirical spotlight, when they pulled barbs from late-night talk show hosts, popular comic books and online humor publications.
The mostly soft coasts had focused on Bennet and Hickenlooper’s status as underdogs in a crowded field of candidates vying for the chance to face then-President Donald Trump.
‘Michael Bennet apologizes after accidentally introducing himself as Tim Ryan,’ The Onion jokingly suggested a few months into Bennet’s run, verifying his fellow Senator from Ohio’s name in a joke about the herd of nondescript middle-aged white men who took the stage during the primary’s first debate.
A subset of TV comedians also cracked up, college-style, on Hickenlooper’s long and somewhat cumbersome surname, with one comedian suggesting it sounded like the kind of old-fashioned sickness that was ravaging American settlers heading west and another wondering if he might be a Dr. Seuss character.
But it didn’t last.
Hickenlooper, a former two-term governor, stepped down and won election to the U.S. Senate in the last cycle after about six months of presidential campaigning. Bennet, who is seeking a full third term in the US Senate this fall, traveled as far as New Hampshire before dropping out of his bid for the White House after a poor finish in that state’s first primary.
The pair have since been supplanted as Colorado-based national political sarcasm butts by Rifle’s outspoken, gun-toting Republican restaurant owner Lauren Boebert, who quickly racked up more joking mentions than the two Democrats. reunited.
Less than a year after being sworn in, Boebert had even reached that pinnacle of political comedy when she was portrayed by a Saturday Night Live cast member in a skit that drew a scathing nudge from the congresswoman. .
Recently, however, Colorado’s reigning queen of civic comedy has gotten some company at the nation’s laugh factories from fellow Republican Ron Hanks, a first state representative from Fremont County and one of the two GOP candidates in the US Senate primary next month.
Careful observers noted that Hanks made his debut in the blink of an eye and you’ll miss him on the late-night national stage with his May 11 inclusion in an ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live feature on the habit of contemporary Republican candidates to shoot things. on camera.
Both Republicans face primaries next month – Boebert is competing with State Sen. Don Coram of Montrose for the nomination in the Republican-leaning 3rd Congressional District, and Hanks takes on the construction company owner Joe O’Dea for the opportunity to take on Bennet – so their tenure as political punchlines could be fleeting, although regardless of the vote’s decision, the two remain in their current offices until January.
Boebert has been a mainstay on the dispatch scene since shortly after taking office, after saying she intended to carry a handgun to work in Washington, D.C., then go off at multiple occasions of metal detectors on the way to the ground of the house.
After the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Boebert drew shouting from several late-night TV hosts and The Onion for tweeting about the whereabouts of lawmakers and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the melee.
“Some Democrats in Congress Fear Colleagues Will Kill Them,” read a headline posted by the host of CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert before the comedian grouped Boebert with half a dozen other Republican lawmakers who contested Trump’s electoral defeat.
“She’s the reverse of Paul Revere! ‘Hey Brits, Americans are hiding, Americans are hiding, they’re gone like this! Get them!’ Colbert said in a photo of the Colorado congresswoman.
Boebert, for her part, vehemently dismissed suggestions that she did something wrong on Jan. 6, when she shared widely available information with her social media followers.
That didn’t stop the namesake host of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers from devoting a segment a week later to Boebert’s impassioned complaint “call[ing] bullcrap!” on House Democrats’ efforts to impeach Trump a second time.
“I didn’t realize you could invoke your power of Congress to invoke the Playground Act,” Meyers said. “Not only am I calling bullcrap,” he added, suggesting what Boebert might say, “but I regret to inform the speaker that impeachment has indeed bounced back from us and sticks with you now!”
Boebert has since become a favorite target of Meyers, who skewered her earlier this year for her blundering comparison of President Joe Biden to “Prince John of — Prince John,” before roasting Boebert and her Georgia congresswoman, Marjorie Taylor Greene, for heckling Biden during the State of the Union address.
Last fall, before she was actually featured on Saturday Night Live, Kimmel aired an extended clip that showed people videos Boebert had recorded and then asked if they thought SNL had “gone too far” in his satirical depiction of the politician.
“Some of these videos that she makes are so incredibly over the top it’s hard to believe this person exists. They look like sketches from Saturday Night Live,” Kimmel said. “Wouldn’t you know we found all kinds of people who thought his real videos were written comedy bits.”
So these crazy Lauren Boebert videos aren’t SNL skits? pic.twitter.com/DAOBIHJeZp
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) November 12, 2021
“I think she would feel like it was too far and she would be offended by it,” a passerby said after watching a clip of Boebert calling for a “full investigation into the number of puppies eaten alive under monitoring Fauci”. She was referring to an urban legend involving Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“It’s embarrassing for her; it’s embarrassing for the county to see. They’ve gone too far,” a woman said after watching a clip of Boebert recounting how she gave birth to one of her children in the cabin of a van.
A month later, SNL cast members Chloe Fineman and Cecily Strong, playing Boebert and Greene respectively, showed up during the show’s opening skit on December 11, brandishing prop guns and proclaiming their thoughts on gun rights. After Strong’s Greene compared the COVID-19 vaccine program to communism, Fineman’s Boebert concluded, “So, Merry Christmas. And remember, guns don’t kill people. People, people, people.”
Boebert was not amused.
Calling the skit “poorly acted”, she tore up the “unnamed actress” who played her and slammed the comedians’ “poor trigger-happy disciple” in a series of tweets.
I just saw the misinterpreted SNL skit from last night. Seeing the bad trigger discipline of the nameless actress who played me makes me think Alec Baldwin took the gun safety training there. BTW, when do they move SNL to CNN to die of irrelevance?
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 12, 2021
“By the way, when are they moving SNL to CNN to die of irrelevance?” Boebert tweeted, adding, “The Right doesn’t need an SNL. We could just turn on CNN and MSNBC who are parodies of themselves at this point.”
Hanks appeared in a parody of an ad for this year’s Republican candidates presented by Kimmel during the May 11 monologue of his show.
“The issues themselves don’t matter much anymore,” Kimmel said. “What matters is that you make sure everyone knows you’re pro-life — pro-human life, with notable exceptions.”
In a threatening voice, the narrator of the false political advertisement takes over.
“Inflation is skyrocketing. Putin is out of control. And Brandon is sleeping behind the wheel. But the GOP has a plan. And that plan is…guns,” he says as snippets of real ads parade, showing GOP candidates shooting things.
The GOP has a plan. RIFLES! pic.twitter.com/vQnHC5i7io
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) May 12, 2022
Halfway through, Hanks appears onscreen in a clip from a campaign video and says, “I’m Ron Hanks and I approve of this message.” He then aims and fires a bullet at a photocopier labeled to represent election material, which explodes on impact.
“Your Republican Party 2022,” concludes the narrator. “The sun is out. The gun is out.”
It’s a far cry from The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah wondering aloud if “Hickenlooper” might be the name of a nerdy local restaurant “where all the waiters have these vests with buttons on them,” but, as Boebert put it pointed out after his SNL performance, Political humor isn’t what it used to be.