Beware a country that loses its sense of humor

Times have changed and now, seems to me, the laughter is tinged with poison. 

Jack Engelhard,

Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
צילום: מתוך האתר האישי

Asked on a German talk show why Germany lacks comedy, Robin Williams snapped:

“Did you stop to think it’s because you killed all the funny people?”

Nothing like that here, yet, though I fear that a statue of humorist Mark Twain may be next to come tumbling down. 

As of the moment, we haven’t killed all the funny people, mainly for this reason – we have no funny people.

We used to be a very funny people. As if on cue, Jerry Lewis just died – and just when we needed him most. Talk about the end of an era.

The Catskills…The Borscht Belt…Those were the days…

Instead, welcome to a country that virtually overnight turned gloomy. 

Days roll by without a decent laugh except to snicker at our president and the millions who voted for him.

Meanwhile we hear that at Kent State University anti-Israel anarchists wanted to take down a memorial image of Golda Meir.

Israel, by the way, was roundly booed at the 2012 Democratic National Convention; in case you forgot where animosity against Israel truly originates. 

Yes, the Left…and when it comes to the Jewish State or to Jews in general…they never joke. There is no such thing as a Liberal Comedian.

The Kent State bid was rebuffed. So chalk one up for our side. But so far it’s the only triumph we can claim against the mobs that are as busy as termites.

The funny people saw us through the worst of times. We all laughed at the same jokes. We were a different America.
All that madness, did it start in Charlottesville? I don’t think so.

I think it started when we lost Johnny Carson and got Trevor Noah instead. Or when we lost Rodney Dangerfield and got Stephen Colbert instead.

I could go on. But millennials would have no idea what I’m talking about if I mentioned Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Sid Caesar, Bob Newhart, Shelley Berman or Carol Burnett to name only a handful among the many who made us laugh simply because “laughter is the best medicine.” 

Times have changed and now, seems to me, the laughter is tinged with poison. 

The jokes are meant to inflict pain, particularly if you don’t align with the Left -- and if you stick with Trump, mockery will be your dish. 

Yesteryear’s funny people weren’t killed. But the humor surely died…died with them… humor that was gentle and meant no offense. 

The funny people saw us through the worst of times. We all laughed at the same jokes. We were a different America.

“Take my wife – please,” cracked Henny Youngman and that was enough to set us roaring. Nobody got hurt.

Don Rickles insulted EVERYBODY. That’s what made him so funny. Everybody got hurt.

Today’s zingers across the airwaves are intended to further divide THEM against US. 

That only leaves one hand clapping and one side laughing.

Thankfully we’ve still got Jackie Mason to keep us in stitches.

But if you laughed or smiled to the wit of Sholem Aleichem or Groucho Marx then you are still shocked from what you heard on CBS. 

That’s when Colbert, a member of the Late Night TV Liberal fraternity, aimed his fury at Donald Trump through a profane-laced rant that you thought was impossible for television and improper for America, so vile it was, and yet remains the standard at what passes these days for humor.

It was like opening the door to the wrong hotel room and seeing something utterly shameful. 

But what you glimpsed was no mistake when you consider America at this moment and in our time. 

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva. Engelhard wrote the international book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal” and the ground-breaking inside-journalism thriller “The Bathsheba Deadline.” His latest is “News Anchor Sweetheart.” He is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website:


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