Saturday, November 14, 2020

Donald Trump And The Holy Grail

n the latest episode of the HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, after the host’s heated argument with Trump Legal Advisor Jenna Ellis about whether there was fraud in the presidential election, Maher joined his panel to be greeted by author Max Brooks (son of Mel) who said, “What a lovely interview with the black knight from Monty Python’s THE HOLY GRAIL.” 

Following a short burst of laughter from the audience, Brooks continued, “I mean that literally was that scene - ‘Your arm’s off!’ ‘No, it isn’t!’” 

This was a funny, and fitting analogy, but it’s far from original.

For those who haven’t seen MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, the scene Brooks is referring to involves King Arthur (Graham Chapman) being challenged to a duel by the Black Knight (John Cleese). One by one, the King slices off all of his adversary’s limbs, but the Black Knight hilariously still doesn’t surrender.

In a cartoon in the New Yorker just days before Election Day in 2016, Bernard Schwartz was among the first to make the analogy with Trump: 

Sadly though, while the gag was dead on, Trump went on to win so somehow the Black Knight actually was triumphant.

Maybe this more recent cartoon by Tom Chitty in the Weekly Humorist is more apt:

Then there’s this one by Jessica Conley from something called the Scot Scoop from early in the pandemic that reverses the roles: 

There are also numerous memes like this one: 

Another reversal of the premise is featured in this YouTube video that puts Trump in the King Arthur Role and posits CNN as the Black Knight. The video’s description is the funniest thing about it: “Donald Trump POTUS fighting the corrupt fake news doxing media CNN! TRump dismembers CNN in this epic battel of fun.” (I’m not fixing their typos) 

Yeah, that was great. Take that CNN. Sigh. 

These jokes, or variation on one joke, work largely because Trump is much like a Monty Python character. He’s outrageously larger than life like Terry Jones’ disgusting diner Mr. Creosote in THE MEANING OF LIFE, he’s an arrogant vulgarian like Cleese’s French Taunter in HOLY GRAIL, and he would surely win the Upper Class Twit of the Year competition from the Flying Circus series.

Much like the Black Knight, Trump is right now still trying to win despite the odds being overwhelmingly against him. It would be so nice if he would man-up and concede the Presidency to the rightful winner, Joe Biden, but that may never happen.

Trump may even be more of a cartoon than the Black Knight, because at least that character offered as close to a concession as he could when he said, “All right, we’ll call it a draw.”

More later...


kdcatastik said...

That was great comic relief, I needed that! Those cartoons were all so spot on! I especially loved the first New Yorker one by Bernard Schwartz, he really led the way.

BLAREMedia said...

So good! Excellent take on a odd point in time.