McCain: ‘Why is Chelsea Clinton So Ugly?’

02/19/08 4:55 PM   McCain: ‘Why is Chelsea Clinton So Ugly?’

Really, John McCain? You want to ask why someone is ugly? Salon reported the content of the once-taboo knee-slapper, delivered by McCain at a Republican fundraiser in 1998:

The fact that McCain had made the tasteless joke was reported in major newspapers, as was the vain attempt by his press secretary to initially deny what McCain had done. But in several major newspapers, the joke itself was kept a secret.

Salon feels its readers deserve the unadulterated truth. Though no tape of McCain’s quip has yet emerged, this is what he reportedly said:

“Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.”

This story is upsetting on several levels, which I will get into after the jump, but foremost, as a former stand-up comic, I am outraged that McCain committed a comedic cardinal sin exceeded only by theft of another comic’s material. He used crummy material to get a cheap laugh. It’s the ultimate hack move, right up there with name-checking the town you’re performing in. Even Yakov Smirnov is trying to keep it fresh. Let’s see if his new material is up to snuff.