November 08, 2009

Tribal summit joke on Tonight Show

Conan O'Brien continued his string of Native references with a lame joke Friday night (11/6/09):A lot going on right now. President keeping busy. Did you hear this? This is quite an honor. Yesterday at the White House, President Obama met with Native American tribal leaders, and they gave Obama the Indian name "He Who Cares." [laughter]

Isn't that nice? That's nice. Yeah. Then they gave Vice President Joe Biden the Indian name "Big Chief Running Mouth."
Comment:  Obama met with the tribal leaders at the Department of the Interior, not the White House. And he got the name during his presidential campaign, not Friday. Moreover, the joke is based on the usual "funny" Indian name that's silly and stereotypical.

But give O'Brien credit for leading off his monologue with the Native news. Except for the joke, the mention was respectful. You don't get any sense that he's mocking Indians, which is common enough among humorists.

For more on the subject, see "Indian Giver" Joke on Tonight Show and Redskins Joke on Tonight Show.

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