GOP Convention Ousts Obama Impersonator for Racial Jokes

The comedian was physically escorted off-stage after a barrage of inappropriate jokes

This article is from the archive of our partner .

The talk of Saturday's Republican Leadership conference was comedian and professional Obama impersonator Reggie Brown, who was hired to perform his occasionally spot-on caricature of the President. After a slew of questionably appropriate, race-related jokes about Obama, not to mention heavy jabs at GOP candidates, Brown was asked to leave the stage before he could get to Michele Bachmann, the New York Times reports. Video of his act (including the loud music that cuts him off and his escort off stage) is below.

The term being widely used to describe Brown's jokes about Obama is "racially-tinged," so the general consensus is not that they were racist, per se, but they made the "nearly entirely white" audience more than a little uncomfortable. These are some examples of his "racially-tinged" jokes:

  • "I took a vacation in my birth state, Hawaii, or as the Tea Partiers like to call it, Kenya.”
  • "My favorite month is February, Back History Month. See Michele, she celebrates the whole month. I only celebrate half."
  • "My mother loved a black man, and no, she was not a Kardashian."
  • Brown flashed a picture on the screen of Fred Sanford from “Sanford and Son,” saying that's what Obama would look like when he got older.

According to the Times, the audience watched "with befuddlement." But up through the off-color Obama jokes, laughter was often uproarious, based on the video below. And of course, no one seemed to mind any Rep. Weiner jokes, though laughter was a little subdued when he flashed the gray boxer picture that the audience had likely seen already in countless comedy acts. The laughter only really died down when Brown turned his attention to members of the GOP. No one laughed at his crying Boehner impression. He was met with boos when he called Newt Gingrich's campaign "frail, and barely clinging to life."

The crowd seemed downright angry when he referenced Mitt Romney's Mormon faith by showing a picture of him standing next to multiple wives. He went on to mock Tim Pawlenty's performance during the recent GOP debate by saying that Pawlenty missed the event because he was “having his foot surgically removed from his mouth” and added, “Don’t worry. It’s covered under Obamneycare. Along with spinal transplants.” But he really seemed to cross the line when he said “[CNN’s] John King served him up a ball softer than Barney Frank’s backside.” (Frank is a gay member of Congress from Massachusetts.)

"Now we got Michele Bachmann," he began. Music began to play. According to the Washington Post, RLC President and CEO Charlie Davis made the decision to pull him offstage, and a man came onstage to physically escort Brown off. “I just thought he had gone too far," Davis said. "He was funny the first 10 or 15 minutes, but it was inappropriate, it was getting ridiculous.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.