Iran: An axis of hilarious

Doug Hite

In a show of solidarity, Americans united last week to have a good laugh with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Surprisingly, it was not because of his ridiculously difficult-to-pronounce name. Thousands assembled at Columbia University to hear the Iranian dictator speak in what would end up being some of the best college stand-up comedy acts since Carlin on Campus.

In Monday’s act, Ahmadinejad didn’t forget his old comedic classics such as the “Holocaust didn’t happen” sketch featuring the “Zionist regime,” which is the president’s inanely humorous term for the country of Israel and one of my personal favorites – “We just want nuclear power for peaceful purposes.” Interspersed between his most loved schticks was entertaining new material, such as “We don’t execute homosexuals. We don’t even have homosexuals,” a new one-liner that’s bound to go down in observational humor history.

This guy is a freakin’ laugh riot.

Some critics, however, are dismissing his rousing performance as less-than-funny. Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University, actually called Monday night’s performance “ridiculous” and further called Ahmadinejad a “petty and cruel dictator,” the Associated Press reports.

Who does this guy think he is?! First of all, he is just the president of some dinky college on the East coast. Ahmadinejad is president of an entire country. Furthermore, I don’t see this guy getting national press for his stand-up acts. Hell, Bollinger isn’t even funny!

Still yet, Bollinger was actually not alone in stating that Ahmadinejad’s routine was below par. Thousands actually agreed. They were so upset with the Iranian president’s poignant and whimsical observational humor that they took to the streets in protest.

The dissenters not only didn’t like the idea of Ahmadinejad performing at Columbia University, they didn’t even want him to perform at the famed Ground Zero amphitheater in lower Manhattan. Despite the rejection of some Americans who are less versed in the comedic arts, Ahmadinejad did have the chance to converse with his comedic cohorts in an international Friars’ Club-esque forum at the United Nations.

The peculiar thing about the surprising unpopularity of the Iranian comedic legend is that the man who might be his biggest critic, George W. Bush, was fairly nonchalant about the whole affair. He even advocated for Ahmadinejad’s performance at Columbia University, telling Fox News the performance “speaks volumes about . the greatness of America” and that the performance was “OK with me.”

What’s going on here?! The fact that none of us can take a joke and have to get mad at this generation’s greatest comedians speaks to the greatness of this country? That’s not how I see it.

America, Ahmadenijad is an incredibly funny guy. Why don’t you realize that? His comedic antics are rivaled only by our own president. And in all honesty, Bush isn’t as funny as he used to be. The Iranian president’s comedic inanities are what makes him great. So, stop getting upset at this guy, just because you’re jealous of his hilarity. Learn to laugh.

Doug Hite is a junior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].