Dec. 31, 2008

HOLLYWOOD–God bless America, and how’s everybody?

It’s time for our annual look back at the year in jokes.

Here’s part one, come back tomorrow and Friday for parts two and three.

• JANUARY – President Bush proposed tax rebates Friday to hold up a sinking U.S. economy. It wasn’t all bad news. For years President Bush said terrorists hate America because of our freedom and prosperity and today they have to think of a new reason to hate us.

• The Directors Guild reached a deal with producers Tuesday, avoiding the fate of the Writers Guild. It only took six days. It’s no surprise Hollywood directors got everything they wanted because it says right on their business cards that they’re God.

• Mike Huckabee is searching for the Michigan lady who gave him her grandmother’s wedding ring last week because she had no money to donate to him. What a prince. Mike Huckabee’s trying to find her so he can remind her that everyone has two grandmothers.

• FEBRUARY – Britney Spears was taken from UCLA Hospital’s psychiatric ward to the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s so sad. The writers’ strike has so crippled the local economy that the Beverly Hills Hotel is having to house mental patients to keep the doors open.

• John McCain aired new ads touring his national security platform Friday. Young voters will recoil at his vow to expand the war in Iraq and remain indefinitely. Nothing’s scarier than a 72-year-old man who’s willing to die for his country.

• John Edwards withdrew from the Democratic presidential race Thursday. He badly miscalculated when he vowed to be the candidate for the little people. Next time he is going to be the candidate for the people tall enough to reach the voting levers.

• MARCH – Barack Obama delivered an eloquent speech on race in America Tuesday. He tried to heal America’s racial divide by talking about himself for 35 minutes. Hillary Clinton cannot believe she is running against a photo-negative of her husband.

• Sir Paul McCartney reached an agreement Tuesday to pay Heather Mills McCartney $50 million cash plus $75,000 a year for child support to finally settle their divorce. They also agreed to split the house. He gets the outside.

• Hillary Clinton declined comment Thursday on New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s prostitute scandal. She had recruited his support at the Democratic convention. Hillary couldn’t have picked a more embarrassing superdelegate if she had married him.

• APRIL – ABC News aired a debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Wednesday. It was the Democratic party’s 21st debate. No one wants to say it feels like this presidential campaign will never end but the debates are now old enough to drink.

• The New York Yankees refused to let Pope Benedict use his popemobile on Yankee Stadium grass at Sunday’s mass. It shows a lack of reverence. The pope’s got some nerve wanting to drive a car on the ground where Mantle, DiMaggio and Ruth once stood.

• John Adams premiered Sunday as a weekly HBO mini-series. You can’t make it up. When John Adams started a revolution over a 10 cent tax he never dreamed that someday Americans would have to pay a $100 a month to see a drama about it.

Argus Hamilton is the host comedian at The Comedy Store in Hollywood. He can be reached for speaking engagements by e-mail at argus@argushamilton.com.