The current season of America’s Got Talent is on a roll. First there was “growling grandpa,” whose screamed rendition of Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” garnered the band’s attention. Then, judge Howie Mandel used the coveted Golden Buzzer to send Grace VanderWaal, a 12-year-old ukulele player called “the next Taylor Swift” by Simon Cowell, to the live shows. So who’s the breakout star of Tuesday night’s episode? That’d be Lori Mae Hernandez, a 13-year-old who performed a stand-up comedy routine that ended with a political jab and a standing ovation.
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is no stranger to jokes at his expense. He gets at least one mention per night on every broadcast and cable television late-night talk show. (Hell, late-night comics like David Letterman were poking holes in the New York real estate mogul’s celebrity brand years before his famous escalator ride.) But Hernandez’s cut was one of the simplest, slyest quips viewers have heard about the Donald since his campaign began.
My only qualification to be a babysitter is that I used to be a baby. That’s crazy! That’s like saying, “Hey, you’re sick a lot. You wanna be my doctor?” Or, “Weren’t you the host of a reality show? Wanna be President of the United States?”
She doesn’t even mention Trump by name, but the judges and the audience immediately know who she’s talking about. Yes, that’s due to the fact that trying to watch anything on television that doesn’t mention the Republican presidential candidate is next-to-impossible. And Hernandez couldn’t have written a better joke, because she sets it up with some self-deprecation and a generally funny bridge which doesn’t require too much from the audience.
No, this isn’t anything like the complexity you’d expect from the stand-up of Louis C.K., but its simplicity doesn’t make it a lesser joke.