For late night comedians these days a sure fire laugh line is “Anthony Weiner.” An even bigger gag line is “President Obama.”
A study by George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs has determined that the Democrats — led by Obama and Weiner — have replaced Republicans as the butt of more political jokes in 2013.
“From January 1 to June 30, CMPA analyzed the targets of all jokes about public figures in the opening monologues of five hosts of night talk shows on the broadcast networks – Jay Leno, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel.”
Obama was the top joke getter being the punchline 288 times. Weiner was a distant second with 120 jokes.
“Anthony Weiner has vowed to continue to fight,” Jimmy Kimmel began on July 31. “He said he is staying in the race because he cares deeply about the people of New York — except for the one he is married to.”
On the previous night Jay Leno took a shot at Weiner saying, “According to the New York Post, the Clintons are really angry about being compared to the Weiners, and rightly so. Bill Clinton took his sexual conduct seriously. Anthony Weiner just phones it in.”
The Democratic scandals gave them a clear edge over Republicans in late night monologues, with 713 jokes compare to 417 aimed at the GOP. That was a reversal of the 2012 presidential cycle which was dominated by jokes at the expense of Republicans.
Those results don’t surprise CMPA President and George Mason University Professor Robert Lichter. “Where scandals go, late night comedians follow,” Lichter said. “These days that means they’re following the Democrats.”
Here is a sample of the barrage of jokes aimed at Obama:
June 6, 2013 Jimmy Fallon: “Another scandal hit the White House today. A report found that the government has been secretly collecting the phone records of Verizon customers. I knew something was up when I said, ‘You hang up first.’ Then my wife said, ‘No, YOU hang up first!’ Then Obama said, ‘Uh, how about you just hang up at the same time?’”
June 24, 2013 Jay Leno: “While in the middle of all these scandals, President Obama got some good news today. The IRS ruled he can write off the first half of his second term as a total loss, so that’s not a problem.”
June 11, 2013 David Letterman: “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on Twitter. A politician on Twitter — what could possibly go wrong?”
June 6, 2013 Craig Ferguson: “The government has been secretly gathering data from your mobile phone. It’s a huge scandal and it comes on the heels of President Obama’s IRS scandal and Benghazi scandal. Even the crackhead mayor of Toronto is saying, ‘Rough week, huh?’”
May 15, 2013 Letterman: “The president held a press conference Monday and the reporters were on him like a pack of wild dogs. He did pretty well—you know because he’s been listening to their conversations, so he knew exactly what was going to happen.”
June 11, 2013 Fallon: “Hillary Clinton finally joined Twitter yesterday and racked up more than 200,000 followers in only five hours. Yeah, they were like, ‘Hillary in 2016!’ and ‘Washington needs Hillary!’ and ‘Hillary for the White House!’ That’s not her followers. Those were her tweets.”
June 10, 2013: Fallon: “President Obama held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It went well, although it got awkward when Obama asked China to stop spying on Americans and Jinping was like: you first.”
Feb. 20, 2013 Leno: “Hey, over the weekend, President Obama, you know that, President Obama played golf with Tiger Woods. And Tiger said the president was a very good golfer for a guy who only plays five days a week. You know, so, that’s pretty good. .. Actually, you know what the president’s handicap is? Anybody know? Doesn’t understand economics.”
March 28, 2013 Fallon: “Yesterday President Obama told reporters that his NCAA tournament bracket is busted. Obama said they were the worst picks he’s ever made – then he looked at his economic advisers and said, ‘Ehh, maybe not.’”
ABC News’ Abby Phillip contributed to this report.