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A bailout for the laughing class?


obamalaugh1(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

Jamie Masada, the owner of L.A. comedy club The Laugh Factory, says he wants a little bit of federal bailout money to take jokes and good cheer on the road to U.S. communities struck by the recession. After all, he argues, if bankers can get a bailout, why not comedians?
But he tells Reuters that he promises not to pocket any of the cash, in the unlikely event he gets it. He just wants to pack comedians in a bus and take them to perform on the road, and buy hard-up Americans some coffee and donuts.
As for that bus, don’t expect any whoopee cushions or rubber chickens onboard.
“We’re not going to do something sleezy with a whoopee cushion or anything like that,” Masada said. “We’re going to really try to bring a smile to someone’s face.”
How much would that cost? Masada pegs his project at $700,000, which he says is a bargain compared to the roughly $800+ billion price tag on President Baracklaugh-factory Obama’s stimulus plan.
You couldn’t blame Obama if he’s a little busy these days to consider the proposal, but Masada said he wants to take comedians to Washington, D.C. to plead his case.
Obama himself is no slouch as a jester. Weeks before the Nov. 4 election, he appeared at a formal dinner and simultaneously joked that he was no messiah, while playing up his love of Superman comics.
“Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger,” Obama said. “I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth.”
If Obama keeps jokes like that coming from the White House, maybe he could headline his own recession comedy tour.