Adult Humor in Unexpected Places: Happy Birthday, LBJ and Pee Wee Herman!

Tracy Wuster

“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.” 
― Rodney Dangerfield

A summer dominated by moving–with a baby–has ended.  There is nothing funny about moving when you have a young child, except for the unintentional.  Like this morning, when I banged my knee on the doorframe when stepping over the baby gate.  My valiant efforts to squelch the swear words that are the only tonic at such times had my little girl laughing, her face covered with carrots, her diaper filled with the same, and my knee slightly bleeding and my eyes watering–first from pain and then laughter.

Which is all to say that I have been largely absent from “Humor in America” this summer because I haven’t had time to think about humor, much less write about it, much less write anything intelligent.  And I don’t have much to say now, but I feel like it would be a good thing to get something up and out there.

And then I noticed that today was the birthday of two illustrious humorists who somehow fit together in my mind (and, to be clear, my mind may be affected by the fact that the little one decided that sleep was not for her, except for 45 minute to the occasional, blessed three-hour stretch).  Here they are:

LBJ lyndon baines johnson humor pee wee herman

 

 

Now, it may not be clear how these two gentlemen fit together, apart from the suit and tie.   Both LBJ (born on this day in 1908) and Pee Wee (b. 1952) are well known for endeavors in which adult humor is not generally found–the presidency more than children’s television (and Pee Wee did evolve from an adult-oriented character to a children’s character).  For both, their best humor is their humor that is aimed at adults–for LBJ it is the blue material captured by his tape recorders, and for Pee Wee it is the subtle, and sometimes-not-so-subtle, innuendo of his show.  I won’t say there is anything more to connect than this–my brain can’t seem to make any theoretical leaps worth sharing, so I will simply say “Happy Birthday” and leave you with some clips.

 

 

 

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One response

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