April 19, 2012 at 10:14 AM ET
Now that the race to the White House will likely come down to Republican challenger Mitt Romney and incumbent President Barack Obama, it's time for the media to ask the tough questions of the men who are gunning for the country’s top political spot. And as "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart noted, no question was more front-page worthy than Diane Sawyer’s question for Romney on Monday night: "Who’s funnier, you or President Obama?"
Might as well hop on the "chuckle-bus" since the country is going to the dogs, Stewart reasoned.
Romney played it safe in his answer by saying he didn't know how funny the president was "in real life," to which Stewart rebutted with a Barbara Walters interview from months ago in which the Obamas joked about who was funnier. Clearly, comedy comes easier to the Obamas. But is the president really funnier than his possible GOP counterpart? Only Jon Stewart (or Fozzie Bear, or Andrew Dice Clay) can be the ultimate judge of that.
A few things set these two far apart, Stewart explained. First, comparing Romney to Obama was unfair because the president has the bigger platform, and the bigger audiences -- like at the White House Correspondents dinner, where his jokes about releasing an official birth video were perfectly executed.
On the flip side, there's Romneys' quip in front of a small audience of unemployed voters about how he’s "also unemployed." The awkward laughter that ensues is enough to gather who won that round. "You don’t want to heckle your audience," advised Stewart.
In one campaign appearance Mitt Romney showed his affinity for slapstick comedy by pretending a waitress had pinched his rear end during a photo op. “That is grade A uncle humor!” Stewart joked. In fact, Romney might be getting better at his delivery while Obama could be getting worse. Stewart recalled one failed "spilled milk" joke the president attempted to make that even had the first lady awkwardly smiling. "Someone’s sleeping on the couch tonight," he joked, referring to the expression on Mrs. Obama’s face.
Elsewhere, Jimmy Kimmel of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" got his own laughs off of Romney. He noted that President Obama had just released several campaign ads targeting Hispanics -- and then played one fake one ostensibly that the Romney campaign had created, full of stilted Spanish and lines like, "Yo tengo pantalones." ("I have pants.")
And over on "The Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert focused on who Mitt Romney would choose as his running mate, coming up with the perfect candidate to be the "sugar to his spice-less-ness." In a segment called "Mitt Romney’s Searching for Mr. Right," Colbert first took a look at all of the top prospects -- Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a headless Jos A. Bank mannequin, a rice cake, and some white bread -- all before settling on the most qualified, and least fascinating candidate: Romney’s shadow.
"The best part is," Colbert joked," it will change positions every time he does!"