#joke #jokes

Mayor Hodges’ comedy bit at MinnRoast yesterday consisted of a “true or false” call and response routine. Things like:

  • “True or false: I personally, indirectly, or in any other way was responsible for Hennepin County sirens going off at 6 am this last week.”
  • “True or false: Dallas is run by big oil, New York City is run by big banks, and Minneapolis is run by big bike. True. But Portland is run by big unicycle.”
  • “True or false: MinnPost compared me directly to ‘Thomas Van Lear, a socialist who was elected Mayor of Minneapolis 100 years ago and served just one term before being defeated because of his workers agenda.’ Really? Thanks MinnPost.”
  • “True or false: I hate cars, bikes, public transit, parks, restaurants, small business, large business, St. Paul, plastic bags, paper bags, reusable bags, cradling your groceries in your arms, baseball, football, soccer, Bernie Sanders, traditional marriage, truth, justice and the American way.”

Here’s how MPR’s Bob Collins characterized one of her jokes:

Mayor of Mpls makes joke about Jamar Clark protest at #MinnRoast to catcalls from protests. “A man is dead,” they shout.

— MyLittleBloggie (@MyLittleBloggie) April 16, 2016

I thought it might be helpful to post this transcript based on an audio recording of Hodges’ remarks (starting two minutes into her routine):

True or False: when demonstrators show up at your home unannounced, it is a good idea to let them in.

That’s a trick question. If you’re my husband, the answer is true. If you’re me, the answer is “He did what?” So for those of you who don’t know, during the occupation of the 4th Precinct there was a night when demonstrators came to my home. I wasn’t there. I was actually working. But my husband let them in and chatted with them. You can watch it all online. It was livestreamed, and you can watch it. But when I found out that they were there, I dialed my husband over and over frantically, as you might imagine, as any wife would. When I asked him later why he hadn’t answered the phone my husband, god bless him, said, “I was in the middle of a conversation.”

This joke seemed to be premised on the idea that, regardless of what you think of the protests, the Mayor’s husband letting livestreaming protesters into the Mayor’s house is a crazy thing that happened. I know this to be true, because when it happened I thought to myself, “that’s a crazy thing that just happened.”

Four minutes later she was interrupted by an air-horn and shouts from protesters in the balcony.

You guys elected a comedian for mayor of Minneapolis. You pissed on the grave of Jamar Clark by mocking the occupation. A man died. It is not a joke. Shame on you. Shame on Keith Ellison who is coming up next. A man died. It is not funny.

To which Hodges responded:

It’s been a tough, emotional few months in Minneapolis for everybody. I won’t even make it a true or false question. And I’m grateful for everybody who reminds us that there is much more to do about police-community relations, and about racial equity, including the demonstrators inside this theater, because there is more to do.

The show went on. Both Keith Ellison and Al Franken were similarly preempted later on, with Franken responding by echoing the sentiments of the Mayor.