A comedy show in which RFK Jr. wasn’t the butt of the joke

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

A comedy show in which RFK Jr. wasn’t the butt of the joke

Lorraine Ali

February 23, 2024

Prominent anti-vaxxer and disinformation spreader Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been the butt of many late-night jokes since he announced his bid for the presidency last spring. But this week, the son of the late Robert Kennedy finally found an audience to laugh at


him, not against him.

The Kennedy Campaign hosted A Night of Laughter with RFK Jr


& Friends



fundraiser at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown LA, with RFK Jr. in attendance. yourself. The more than two-hour show drew a sold-out crowd of supporters who paid more than $150 per ticket for the rare chance to see their Democrat turn.



l/c for bn

candidate defended by comedians instead of satirized.

Billed as the first of several comedy shows across the country as we make our way to the White House, the show featured sets from seven stand-up comics and was hosted by RFK Jr.’s wife, Cheryl Hines, the actor who

plays previously played

Larry Davids

long suffering ex

woman on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Ticket holders dressed in Kennedy 2024 hats and Declare




ndependence promotional apparel was set up around two city blocks nearby


Great Central Market to attend.

Most of the crowd on Wednesday night seemed younger than the typical crowd



former president

Trump’s rallies and




press. RFK Jr.’s devotees, mostly white men and women in their 30s and 40s, packed up to the small lobby of the historic location, talking selfies next to cleverly designed

new representations of posters that were reimagined

classic movie posters with Kennedy’s image. There he was in a leather jacket for “Rebel with a Cause,” on a rearing stallion for “The Lone Ranger,” and so on.

People willing to talk to the mainstream media (one of many nefarious enemies on Kennedy’s list) said they were registered Republicans who voted for Trump in the last election, but were looking for change and someone younger. And Bobby, as they call him, is 70


so he’s just a puppy next to Biden and Trump.

But aside from the strange positioning of the fundraising event itself, was it actually funny? Not special.

Openers Tre Stewart, Dustin Ybarra and Erica Rhodes outperformed the older, top veterans simply because they delivered material that wasn’t based on the


HW Bush/Clinton/GW Bush era. Otherwise, it was radio host and podcaster Adam Carolla who made a joke about the “Iraqi man” who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush.

in 2008.

Rob Schneider, the

’90s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Cast Member, ’90s ‘SNL’ Cast Member Rob Schneider

made fun of Mexicans (it’s okay. His wife is one). Surprise guest Jeremy Piven reminded the audience that 20 years ago he starred in the HBO series Entourage, and that a show about four white boys would now be mistaken for footage of the January 6 insurrection.

rearranged to avoid writing ‘Nineteen-nineties’ as there is no way to write the necessary apostrophe before ‘Nineteens’/sw

Mike Binder repeated several times that he would get in trouble for what he said about gays, women, Jews and other perennial targets of American comedy since the beginning of the State of Play.

Maybe in 2000, but not now, when entire media ecosystems are fueled by outrage against woke, liberal, pronoun-obsessed Pelosi Nazis. Wednesday’s analogous jokes about “little people,” “African American blacks” and “all gays” seemed more like a call-out

backs than controversial zingers.

So what got the crowd moving? Jokes about lockdown masking, Biden’s age, the pathetic Democrats

and more masking.

Isn’t it funny that you had to wear a face mask when you walked into a restaurant, but not at the table? What about on an airplane? Or when you visit your elderly mother?

It was as if the dark days of the pandemic, filled with fear that our constitutional rights would be attacked by N95s, would never end.

RFK Jr.’s staunch anti-vaxxer stance has been an effective rallying cry for presidential hopefuls, and a central hub that ties together many of his other baseless beliefs. They include HIV/AIDS denialism, the


alleged involvement in the murder of his uncle, with the increase in antidepressant mass shootings and the speed of 5G cell service linked to the declining health of the population. This latest warning didn’t stop many in Wednesday night’s crowd from sending selfies of themselves from the event, but they may have been using 4G.

Kennedy appeared in a short campaign clip that opened the festivities. The son of American political royalty complained about the partisan elite before rallying the crowd


o Take back our country! He waited until the end of the event to continue climbing

stage and thanked the evening’s talent and the audience, some of whom he would meet

person in the back

party if they paid the ticket price of $1,000 to $1,500.

Hines ended the evening by encouraging people to register with the

We, the PeoplePeople’s

Party of California. Kennedy, who has not yet managed to secure any party, announced on Monday that he



the A

new political party eligible for California elections. It’s us the people


arty hopes to register 75,000 people in the state and get his name in front of voters in November. If he succeeds, he will prove once and for all that RFK Jr. is no joke. Or at least he wasn’t at his own comedy show.


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