Mental illness isn’t something one jokes around about. Unless, of course, we’re talking about Republicans. Then it’s hilarious.
That’s the takeaway I’ve had from Kanye West’s visit to the White House Thursday. Pretty much everyone in the mainstream media has dismissed the hip-hop star as being legitimately crazy. Apparently, the fact that Kanye has suffered from mental illness in the past is reason enough to dismiss him as psychologically infirm.
Unsurprisingly, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel got in on this slice of the action. He’s no longer weeping over maladies; he now finds them bona fide hysterical.
Kimmel began his take on Kanye by saying that, as much as it may appear that way from his show’s general comedic laziness, the jokes don’t necessarily “write themselves” during the Trump administration.
“The jokes do not write themselves,” Kimmel said.
“Or, should I say, they did not write themselves — until today. When Kanye West visited the White House.”
And then, after delivering a short spiel about how the current political climate forces his writers not to be lazy, he literally took the most indolent, thoughtless comedic angle on the meeting: He accused Kanye of being mentally ill.
“Not only is this a crazy conversation for this White House, this is the kind of conversation that would typically be held between people wearing hospital bracelets,” Kimmel said.
Noting that the meeting featured Trump “sitting quietly” while an “irrational madman rants and raves at him,” Kimmel said he noticed a similarity.
“Now he knows how we feel every morning when we wake up to him,” he said.
Oh ho ho. That whole crazy-person line wasn’t particularly funny or insightful when I heard it earlier in the day on CNN or MSNBC. But please, drag it out for me a few hours later.
I understand that Kanye can come across as a bit outré to some people. It’s because he often is. The thing is that this didn’t start when he began supporting Donald Trump. He’s acted like this from day one. However, nobody particularly cared until recently.
Kimmel’s feud with West has gone back a while, mind you, given that the two got into a spat in 2013 over jokes the late-night host made at the rapper’s expense.
I suppose one could say they have a history, but that’s still not exactly an excuse for the laziest remark anyone could make regarding Kanye’s appearance at the White House. The fact that the “joke” used Kanye’s 2016 hospitalization with an undisclosed condition turned this into something more sinister than artistic slothfulness.
Jimmy’s right — the jokes don’t write themselves. It just seems like it when you’ve got someone like Kimmel repeating leaden tropes as if they were comic profundities.
While the humor may not have been humorous, however, at least Kanye can take some solace in the fact that he’s angering all the right people.
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