A Chat With Political Comedian Will Durst

Jabbing Durst tries to KO all sides.
Jabbing Durst tries to KO all sides. (By Pat Johnson)
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By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 15, 2009

Political comedian Will Durst inhales topical fodder the way cable-news channels subsist on scandals, so no subject is ever "too soon" -- not even recently deceased pop icons. "If Michael Jackson had died a week earlier," he says, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford "would still be in Argentina." (Wait a beat. Annnd inhale.)

Didn't care for that gag? No worries, there'll be a half-dozen more riddling the comedy club before you can put down that vodka rocks. Health care? Durst thinks there ought to be a "saint tax" for nonsmokers and teetotalers: "You want to live forever -- fine. Pay for it!"

The Emmy-winning, 57-year-old comedian (who bills himself as "a raging moderate") will perform his newest show, "The Lieutenant Governor From the State of Confusion," Saturday night at 8 and 10:30 at the D.C. Improv. We caught up with him to find out why he loves to play Washington.

You've brought a new act to D.C. How has your show changed?

I had to de-Bush my act.

Sounds painful. So, Obama -- seven months in, is he getting any easier to satirize?

A little, because we know so much about him now -- and every week, another page gets filled in, which means we've got a larger shared reference. Like "Gates-gate." . . . But I still can't even see him -- the halo is still too bright.

Even though his approval numbers are dropping close to 50 percent?

[In likability], that means he's dropped from Shar-Peis to bunnies.

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