Democrats You’d Have a Blank With

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Back in 2000, the presidential election was tight and much attention was focused on who better related to the public. Al Gore was viewed as an automaton, the product of reverse taxidermy who had to be hosed down every spring with Thompson’s Water Sealant. He needed a strobe light at press conferences just to give the appearance of movement.

George W. Bush, on the other hand, was a good ol’ boy Texan. “Someone you could have a beer with.”Of course, the whole nation remained on alert in case we had to take away the car keys.

Ever since, likability has played a pivotal election role. Except in 2016, when the two candidates were as beloved as wounded coyotes fighting over a dead rabbit in a broom closet.

If you had to pick one of the 20 debate-qualified Democratic candidates to have a beer with, you could do worse than John Hickenlooper, who helped found the Wynkoop Brewing Company before stints as Denver mayor and Colorado governor. A man who knows his India Pale Ales and Summer Wheats from his 3.2 percent Utah dishwater.

Beer expertise might not be a prime arrow in the other candidates’ quivers, but they all sport individual characteristics that could endear themselves to certain distinct demographics. Some more targeted than others. For instance:

– The best guy to sit on a porch in matching rocking chairs to wax poetic about the bad old days; Joe Biden.

– Anybody interested in arguing the merits of Texas vs. Iowa barbecue should report directly to Beto O’Rourke.

– If you want someone to belt out a couple of choruses of The Internationale with: Bernie Sanders is your man.

– Planting a garden of sustainable Swiss chard mulched with leaves and pine straw? Talk to Jay Inslee.

– Looking for someone to peer review new regulations for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau- see Elizabeth Warren.

– If you need to dust the top of a really tall bookcase, give Bill DeBlasio a call.

– Curious as to how “Minnesota Nice” differs from “Minnesota Get Things Done,” sidle up to Amy Klobuchar.

– You want the real skinny on Marcia Clark, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Willie Brown, you need to talk to Kamala Harris.

– Rate the skits in The Best of Al Franken on Saturday Night Live DVD with Kirsten Gillibrand.

– Hankering to sing some Broadway musical karaoke with a Naval Intelligence officer, check out Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

– Talk smack about the Alabama Crimson Tide football program with Ohio State Buckeye alumni, Tim Ryan.

– Looking for someone who knows someone who might could possibly get you backstage at a Bruce Springsteen concert, how about Cory Booker?

– Get down and dirty as to how you’ll spend your guaranteed $1,000 a month mostly on gum and candy with Andrew Yang.

– Trade loco moco recipes with Tulsi Gabbard.

– Discover which of the TV pundit shows has the best snacks in the green room by talking to Michael Bennet.

– Discuss the ins and outs of playing The Parent Trap for real with Julian Castro.

– For an extremely accurate but sympathetic tarot reading, Marianne Williamson.

– Argue where Spiro Agnew ranks on the list of most corrupt Maryland politicians with John Delaney.

– Lay odds on who will be the next candidates to follow in his footsteps by quitting the race with Eric Swalwell.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

Comedy For People Who Read Or Know Someone Who Does

As the sacred cows set themselves up for slaughter each night at six, America cries out for a man with the aim, strength and style to swat the partisan political piñatas upside their heads. Will Durst is that man. Sweeping both sides of the aisle with a quiver full of barbs sharpened by a keen wit and dipped into the same ink as the day's headlines, Durst transcends political ties, performing at events featuring Vice President Al Gore and former President George H.W. Bush, also speaking at the Governors Conference and the Mayors Convention cementing his claim as the nation's ultimate equal opportunity offender. Outraged and outrageous, Durst may mock and scoff and taunt, but he does it with taste.

A Midwestern baby boomer with a media-induced identity crisis, Durst has been called "a modern day Will Rogers" by The L.A. Times while the S. F. Chronicle hails him as "heir apparent to Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory." The Chicago Tribune argues he's a "hysterical hybrid of Hunter Thompson and Charles Osgood," although The Washington Post portrays him as "the dark Prince of doubt." All agree Durst is America's premier political comic.

As American as a bottomless cup of coffee, this former Milwaukeean is cherished by critics and audiences alike for the common sense he brings to his surgical skewering of the hype and hypocrisies engulfing us on a daily basis. Busier than a blind squirrel neck deep in an almond sorting warehouse, Durst writes a weekly column, was a contributing editor to both National Lampoon and George magazines and continues to pen frequent contributions to various periodicals such as The New York Times and his hometown San Francisco Chronicle.

This five-time Emmy nominee and host/co-producer of the ongoing award winning PBS series "Livelyhood" is also a regular commentator on NPR and CNN, and has appeared on every comedy show featuring a brick wall including Letterman, Comedy Central, HBO and Showtime, receiving 7 consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand Up of the Year. Hobbies include the never-ending search for the perfect cheeseburger, while his heroes remain the same from when he was twelve: Thomas Jefferson and Bugs Bunny.

Look for Will's new book "The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing" at bookstores and Amazon.com.

Will Durst's performances and columns are made possible by the First Amendment.