Laughing Matters — John Mulaney, “There’s a Horse Loose in the Hospital”

Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too.

As good and proper citizens with a couple streaming accounts and an appreciation for standup comedy, we watched Patton Oswalt’s I Love Everything shortly after its debut this week. Enjoyable enough, the show was invariably a significant step down from Oswalt’s previous special, the absolute knockout Annihilation, but the weakest spot was when he ventured into the no-win zone — admitting in the process that it’s a no-win zone — of trying to build a routine out of the colossal failure of a human being who was given the keys to the White House despite collecting nearly three million fewer votes than his main competitor. I understand why comics feel some level of obligation to offer commentary, but I think everyone can agree that the gold standard has already been set. If you can’t top John Mulaney’s bit drawing an extended analogy to a horse loose in the hospital, then maybe don’t bother with it. And nobody is likely to this.

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