The Economy’s a Joke

Check out some videos that wring laughs out of our shaky financial times. Even Chewbacca’s in on the gag…

By Jere Hester
|  Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011  |  Updated 12:12 PM EDT
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Jimmy Kimmel put Chewbacca on the economic beat.

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Humor won’t save our economy – unless perhaps Stephen Colbert starts using all that Super PAC money he’s collecting to help pay down the national debt. But laughter sure beats screaming as our fortunes cling to a Wall Street rollercoaster that’s generally out of our control.

We’ve found some welcome moments of mirth in recent days thanks to a handful of funny videos that tackle the growing financial uncertainty – including a spot from Jimmy Kimmel, who, noting Wall Street’s wild fluctuations as of late, cracked, “Our economy is like Oprah’s belt.”

In an inspired piece of absurdity, Kimmel tries to get the lowdown on the Asian stock markets by sending a guy in a Chewbacca suit onto the streets of Los Angeles to interview folks in Asian supermarkets.

We’re getting an even bigger kick out of a video, posted on Funny or Die, in which an actor playing President Obama announces a Kickstarter campaign to eliminate the national debt and jumpstart the economy.

“Pledge $5,000 and I’ll let you sit in my big, comfy chair in the Oval Office,” he says. For $100,000, you get to be president for a day: “You can come and just chill in my kicka-- house, call some prime ministers, the whole shebang.” 

But our favorite of the recent offerings stars another authority figure, playing himself: Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich. In the video, posted on College Humor, Reich explains, grade by grade, what further downgrades of the country’s credit rating would mean.

A sampling: “At AA-, every Bonefish Grill in the nation will become a Red Lobster….[at A-] all Red Lobsters will become Long John Silvers.”

Take a break from tracking the latest in the stock markets and check out the videos below at a time when we all could use a good laugh:

 

 

Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992.

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