It's funny the things that will set you off. For example, I was just reading this article on Yahoo! News, and was semi-fine with the whole thing, until I got to this bit:
In addition to the music acts, former Frasier star Kelsey Grammer (news), comedian Ben Stein and New York Giant football player Jason Sehorn will make appearances at inaugural-related events on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (emphasis added)
"Comedian" Ben Stein? Now he's a comedian? I knew he was a washed-up Nixon speechwriter. (Let's face it, Nixon can go light on the speechwriters these days. Where he is now, he's probably being forced to listen to his old speeches, not create new ones.) He's also a failed actor and out-of-work game show host. But comedian? You mean like Chris Rock or Morty Gunty?
I just can't imagine Ben Stein standing up someplace and delivery 40 minutes of snappy patter. First of all, he lacks snap. Second, he lacks patter. When you come right down to it, he's less of a monologist and more of a monotonist. He's somehow combined whining and drawling into some sort of distinct vocal emission, but listening to him plaintively telling the one about the guy with the Brooks Brothers suit would be an experience akin to having your tonsils removed sans anathesia with ice tongs.
If you don't believe me, just watch one of his commentaries on CBS Sunday Morning. It's like watching a slow-motion video of a below-average life insurance salesman. I've had chest pains that I enjoyed more.
I guess he'll probably drone on about his favorite platitudes, like "Our Troops Are Swell" and "Nice Is Good," and the celebrating crowd of high-end campaign contributors will confuse pablum for wisdom. That's fine. They've got a right.
But for the love of Groucho, don't call this mook a comedian.