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Finding the funny in politics

奥巴马大秀政治幽默

时政 来源:MARK DI STEFANO, 21ST CENTURY STAFF
   2010-05-12
【导读】日前白宫举行晚宴,奥巴马再次施展其口才(eloquence)魅力:妙语连珠、风趣幽默、敢于自嘲,赢得了现场媒体人士的好评。而笑声背后,美国喜剧界正经历着一场“十年之变”,新生代的夜间档主持人正在崛起,老牌同行的地位岌岌可危,倍感压力。

白宫记者协会招待晚宴于当地时间5月1日在华盛顿举行。(Internet)


漫画杰•雷诺(Internet)


乔恩•斯图尔特(Internet)

中文 英文 双语

Who is the funniest person in the US? It turns out it might be Barack Obama.
谁是美国最有趣的人?答案可能会是巴拉克•奥巴马。

At Washington’s night of nights on May 1, at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, something strange happened. US President Barack Obama, killed. While professional comedian, Jay Leno, bombed.
五月一日的华盛顿上演了美妙之夜,在白宫记者晚宴上,不可思议的事发生了。美国总统巴拉克•奥巴马被调侃其“离群寡居”。而喜剧演员杰•雷诺则被调侃“做人很失败”。

The dinner for Washington insiders gives the US President a chance to shed his serious suit and become the Comedian-in-Chief. It also gives a chance for a professional comic to roast the president.
在这次为华盛顿媒体业内人士而设的晚宴上,美国总统得以摆脱严肃作派,变身为“首席谐星”。同时真正的谐星也有机会对总统调侃一番。

So how did Leno, a late night comedy icon who has performed stand-up for more than 30 years, get thoroughly trounced by the usually demure and sober Obama?
那么,身为深夜脱口秀节目的著名主持人,已有超过三十年主持经验的杰•雷诺是如何败在平时一向严肃冷静的奥巴马手下的?

It turns out Obama had some help with his act. An unnamed writer from The Daily Show penned some of his jokes. The Daily Show is a late night cable news program hosted by comedian Jon Stewart. Many of the edgier jokes, which brought the house down, were Jon Stewart-style barbs which made Leno look pedestrian.
正是奥巴马的一些举动使他占了上风。一位《每日秀》的匿名作家记录了当晚奥巴马讲的一些笑话。《每日秀》是由喜剧演员乔恩•斯图尔特主持的深夜档有线电视新闻节目。许多刻薄的笑话总是能博得满场笑声,乔恩•斯图尔特式的笑话自成一格,就连杰•雷诺都望尘莫及。

It points to a decade-long shift in American comedy, a shift that has brought forward a new generation of late-night comics who are challenging the old guard of late night hosts, Leno and David Letterman.
这也意味着美国喜剧界十年来的一次变革,新一代的夜间档主持人正在崛起,一批如杰•雷诺和大卫•莱特曼这样老牌同行的地位岌岌可危。

The new comics focus many of their jokes on the dynamic and over-the-top political arena. They joke about everything from boring congress sessions to huge foreign conflicts. They have opened up politics as a new minefield for jokes and material.
新一代谐星们会拿时下正热,曝光率最高的政治事件开涮,其内容从乏味的美国国会会议到大型外交争端无所不谈。政坛成为了他们挖掘笑料的新大陆。

“In some respects, the heavier subjects are the ones that are most loaded with opportunity… They have the most potential energy,” Stewart told The New York Times.
乔恩•斯图尔特在接受《纽约时报》采访时表示:“在某些方面,那些略显沉重的话题最能引发笑点,其潜力也是不可估量的。”

The old-guard of Leno and Letterman avoid this political comedy. Their humor focuses on celebrities. When they do cover political issues, it is usually from a light and cultural angle. It is what the Daily Beast calls “offend no-one political humor”.
像杰•雷诺和大卫•莱特曼这样的老牌主持人则避免拿政治开涮。他们主要拿名人开玩笑。一旦触及政治话题,他们经常会从文化角度谈及轻描淡写地带过。这正是新闻网站Daily Beast所谓的“毫无杀伤力的政治幽默”。

The Daily Show, on the other hand, delights in finding the funny in hard politics.
另一方面,《每日秀》节目则对拿一些严肃的政治事件开涮乐此不疲。

Stewart fields this through famous interviews with politicians. He has interviewed US Presidents, including Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. He has grilled ex-Pakistani general Pervez Musharraf and ex-British prime minister Tony Blair.
在对一系列广为人知的政要专访中,乔恩•斯图尔特实施了其独特的搞笑方式。他采访了多位美国总统,包括奥巴马、比尔•克林顿以及吉米•卡特。此外他还在节目中采访了巴基斯坦前总统穆沙拉夫以及英国前首相托尼•布莱尔。

These interviews are more often than not more thought-provoking than interviews by established news journalists. Stewart’s long interviews with specialists on the financial crisis, torture, the Iraq War and Health Care have made The Daily Show, what Newsweek calls, “the coolest pit stop on television”.
相比那些新闻记者的采访,斯图尔特的采访往往更发人深省。斯图尔特同专家们就金融危机、虐囚事件、伊拉克战争以及医疗体制展开长时间的探讨,因此《新闻周刊》称《每日秀》为“最酷的电视加油站”。

It has also made Stewart an authoritative voice outside comedy. In a recent Time magazine poll, Stewart was voted the “most trusted man” in the US. He beat out mainstream newsreaders Brian Wilson and Katie Couric.
而抛开喜剧而言,乔恩•斯图尔特俨然已成为一个权威发言人。在最近由《时代》杂志发起的一项投票中,斯图尔特打败了像莱恩•韦尔森和凯蒂•考瑞克这样的主流媒体新闻主播,被选为全美“最值得信赖的人”。

It’s no wonder Obama, with support from The Daily Show, got all the laughs and Leno was left languishing on stage. Leno’s jokes were old, stale and from an old generation. Stewart’s brand of political humor made Obama into the funniest man in the US.
所以,受益于《每日秀》的奥巴马能博得满堂笑声,而杰•雷诺在台上却显得难以招架,就不足为怪了雷诺的笑话已经过时了,那属于老一辈。斯图尔特式的政治幽默则帮助奥巴马成为全美最幽默的人。

All Leno could do was coyly remark, “Geez what a tough room.”
雷诺只能羞愧地表示:“天啊,坐在这儿可真不好过!”

(Translator & Editor: 21英语 Aaron AND Lily)
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辞海拾贝
authoritative有权威的
barb尖刻的话
beat out击败,胜出
bring the house down博得满堂喝彩
demure端庄严肃的
dynamic动态
grill拷问,盘问
languishing渐渐变弱的
pedestrian呆板的,通俗的
pen写,记下
pit stop中转站,加油停车点
shed脱掉,摆脱
sober镇定的
stale陈旧的,没意思的
trounce重击

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