Al Franken was on the Dave Letterman show a few weeks ago and told Dave "I'm a satirist. You're a clown, and a very good one." That was not an insult. It was two very distinct categories of comedy, and the labels were being applied by a very intelligent comedian who has deeply studied the art.
That comment struck my curiosity bone. I think I understand what it means to be a "satirist," but what does it mean to be a "clown?"
Dave Letterman displayed the answer to my question for all to see at the 2007 white House Correspondents Dinner on April 21. Here is the U-tube. As Nolo at Indict Dick Cheney says "suffer through the first 30-or-so-seconds of tony snow, because letterman nails it!"
That's how a clown par excellence pokes fun at George W. Bush.