February 25, 2013
Lincoln assassination jokes: STILL too soon?
Shame on conservatives for bitching about this frankly well-crafted joke.
Let’s let the left be the joke police.
Wow, Lincoln jokes, though…
I remember the night at least 20 years ago, when David Letterman did some multiple choice gag — “If Abe Lincoln were alive today, he’d be…” — and the last choice was “banging frantically on the lid of his coffin.”
The audience was silent for one beat, then booed like I’d never heard a Letterman audience boo before or since.
Remember: you book your Letterman tickets many months in advance. If you’re there, you’re a fan.
Letterman’s dumbfounded response was genuine. He’s rarely rattled like that.
Americans really don’t like Lincoln assassination jokes, obviously.
But all that is about keeping him alive, not thinking about his death.
Which is weird because one of the most overused colloquialisms in the US is “…but what did you think of the play?”
So the topic isn’t entirely taboo.
There’s some “Lincoln limit” one isn’t advised to cross, but it seems pretty arbitrary.