That's Funny, Wasn't It? No, It Won't Be

STRANGER, ignore yon loud bassoon
And harken, ere thou depart est,
To the plaintive notes of a minor tune,
The wail of the comic artist.
The shadows lengthen across his career,
Each day is a new conundrum,
As the wingèd horses of yesteryear
Are progressively shot from under him.
His predecessors had ready themes,
Dependable sturdy stanchions,
And never foresaw in their direst dreams
The birth of a social conscience.
A permanent company they employed
Of dramatis personae;
There were Abie and Ike, and Pat and Mike,
And Rastus, Ole, and Tony.
But the humor that once raised mirthful
Grew more and more precarious;
The facetious baiting of minor groups
Seemed less and less hilarious.
So the artist discarded the racial joke
And packed it away in camphor,
And assembled a group of risible folk
That nobody gives a damn for.
There’s the couple marooned on the desert isle
With a caption faintly risqué,
And the portly sultan with lecherous smile
And entourage odalisqué,
The fakir complete with his bag of tricks,
The witch-doctor, his cousin-german,
The felon reviewing his awkward fix,
And the khan on the Hying Kirman.
So far, so good, but the world is filled
With sensitive True Believers,
There may come a complaint from the Sultans’
Or the Magic Carpet Weavers.
How long can the ink-stained wretch rely
On his file of new side-splitters
In the face of a logical outraged cry
From the Union of Counterfeiters?
Stranger, the wedding feast is done,
But linger, ere thou departest,
To murmur a prayer, just a little one,
For the soul of the comic artist.
May he sit secure on a laughing star
And cartoon on heavenly ceilings
The saints, who so superior are
That nothing can hurt their feelings.