The video: The Louisiana state GOP had a surprise for attendees of the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans this weekend: A comedy routine from Obama impersonator Reggie Brown. In 18 minutes, Brown managed to get off "a series of off-color jokes poking fun at Obama's biracial heritage and a gay member of Congress," as well as Mormons, Michelle Obama, and several GOP presidential candidates, says The Washington Post. (Watch the video below.) At one point, Brown displayed a picture of Fred Sanford from TV's Sanford and Sons, suggesting that's what President Obama would look like when he left office. The organizers cut off Brown's mic and escorted him from the stage before his act was finished. "I just thought he had gone too far," said RLC president Charlie Davis. "He was funny the first 10 or 15 minutes, but it was inappropriate, it was getting ridiculous."
The reaction: The media has largely made it sound like the audience was "offended that Brown made jokes about black people in hideously poor taste," says Kirsten Boyd Johnson at Wonkette. Not true. They were "in stitches" through all the awful "'Obama is black' jokes." Brown only got booed when he started roasting Republicans. Well, his act was really "more tone deaf than offensive," says Joshua Green in The Atlantic. But no doubt, it was a "boneheaded" decision to hire him. Brown's impersonation is quite good, but if anything, he "seems like quite a fan" of Obama, which makes him an odd choice for a GOP event. The RLC could have avoided this "debacle" if they'd just watched Brown's act on YouTube. (Judge for yourself below, or watch the entire routine.)
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Fall film guide: All the movies you should see in October
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert are accidentally having a serious debate on ISIS
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- The dumb war in Syria will haunt Democrats' 2014 prospects
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
Subscribe to the Week