In one of the better segments of improvised comedy in recent history, activists from the ongoing skit “the Mitt Romney campaign” staged a hilarious send-up of upper class attitudes and disdain this weekend. Centered at the estate of a cartoonishly evil fictional set of brothers, “the Kochs,” the comedians imagined an expensive fundraiser cleverly set in the same general locale as The Great Gatsby.
The difference between the Yes Men and The Mitt Romney Campaign, though, is that the Yes Men know exactly where to quit before straining our credulity. Some of the Romney characters use setups and characters so unrealistic that they would make Sacha Baron Cohen blush. Case in point: The jokesters offered up “rich attendees” to be interviewed by assembled media, all of whom were presumably in on the joke. Here’s what one told the Los Angeles Times.
A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.
“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”
It’s certainly amusing to think that someone might be so callously out-of-touch with the rest of the world as to make such a ridiculously condescending argument. I mean, the veiled suggestion that some people shouldn’t have the right to vote? A joke’s a joke, but no actual human being would ever say such a thing.
Other actors attending “the event” stood around accusing our robustly centrist president of being a Socialist. Another asked how to get to the VIP entrance; another bragged about the bigwig he was taking out on his yacht. In one of the better moments, two actors in a yacht of their own pretended to attempt to breach security at the sumptuous estate and were led away in trick handcuffs.
In all, an amusing send-up of the hyper-rich, and perhaps the most effective one that the “Mitt Romney” jokesters have made to date. But, in our estimation, it probably was a little too much. A key component of such humor, after all, is believability. And much of this weekend strained our credulity.
The improv group’s next gag, it appears, is this “White Trash Reception” on Capitol Hill, a pointed jab at the lobbying industry’s complete unawareness of how real America looks at the issue of healthcare and lobbyists in general. Like the Romney event, they’ll be hard pressed to top the most effective satire of the past five years: the uproarious farce “vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.”