Do Politicians Have a Sense of Humour?

By Joan Janzen

Lady Astor said to Winston Churchill, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.” To which he responded, “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it!”

I’m not sure if Churchill actually said those words, but I’ve always wondered if politicians possess a sense of humour. By the way, its definition is: “a person’s ability to perceive humour”.

During a recent interview, Justin Trudeau described Canadians as being funny in a self-deprecating way, and praised Canadian-born Ryan Reynolds for having a “brilliant sense of humour”. The host responded, noting if you look like Ryan Reynolds you can say pretty much anything and people will think it’s hilarious. To which, the PM responded, “That is an advantage.” Perhaps Trudeau intends his advantage will be to use Bill C-11 to censor humour.

But meanwhile, Canadian jazz pianist, John Stetch, has expressed his personal version of humour by putting out short clips impersonating Trudeau. Not only does he nail Trudeau’s mannerisms and voice, but his clips are well written.

In the clip entitled ‘Trudeau Does Laundry”, Stetch mimicked the PM saying, “I’ve only made one mistake ever. Last week I left the setting on white instead of the diverse and inclusive colours. This resulted in a larger carbon footprint and an unsustainable use of energy. And even more tragic was the loss of one sock. And black socks matter.”

In Stetch’s clip “Trudeau Does Ukrainian Cooking”, he says, “I am now mandating that the cabbage be kept secure around the unified rice, which would otherwise crumble into chaos, necessitating an emergency act, or at least a smoke detector.”

Meanwhile, an Alberta-based author has written a book which has rated number one on Amazon for three weeks. Derek Smith’s book “How Trudeau Stole Freedom” loosely resembles “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, but is an illustrated book designed primarily for adults.

It has currently sold over 30,000 copies to customers in the US, Japan, Germany, UK and Canada. The illustrations were done by a very talented 18-year-old.

Derek explained his reason for writing the book, saying, “With everything that’s gone on over the last two and a half years it was really important to find a way to laugh. I think people have really forgotten that over the last few years with how serious and devastating things have been. This was kind of taking a jab at our current leader. It was never meant to be malicious or negative in any way; we just wanted to take a light hearted approach.”

“I didn’t think we’d get number one on Amazon,” Smith said. Sales of the book increased after Smith was interviewed by several popular social media hosts, including Viva Frei, a Canadian lawyer who utilizes a healthy sense of humour while covering political news.

Smith chose to go the self publishing route with Amazon and said the reception of his book was overwhelming. Copies of the book appear in the least likely places. Someone said they even saw a copy of the book on one of the desks while touring the House of Commons.

“We were setting sales records every day, then we suddenly lost 75% and are stagnant,” Smith said. His book was bumped to number four, while Amazon’s own personally produced 3-book series promoted to number one, two and three.

Positive reviews by people who had bought Smith’s book, were being blocked by Amazon’s sensitivity filter. An individual who had a review deleted said, “Amazon warned me about writing a now rejected post that mocked Justin Trudeau,” but there was no end of mocking, hateful and critical reviews of the book and its readers, that had not been deleted.

Shouldn’t we expect consistency from Amazon? If they’re deleting reviews that are mocking the PM, they should also delete reviews that demean the book, its author and readers.

“The book was written to remind people how to laugh. My goal at the end of the day is to entertain people,” Smith said, adding that he’d love to do a similar book on the carbon tax. “My message is to treat people the way you want to be treated. That’s what I think is important in this world.”




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