The owner of the Laugh Factory in LA, Jamie Masada, has started a petition and will take the signatures to DC to present to the president and Congress in an attempt to get $700,000 in stimulus funds for a “free” comedy tour — a “Comedy Bailout” — where attendees will be fed and, presumably, entertained, all on the taxpayers’ dime:

“I wanted to do something like what … Roosevelt did with artists. He sent them around the country to benefit communities,” he said. “The Laugh Factory is not taking a cent of this money, we are donating our time. The money goes to the tour, renting spaces, providing transportation, and meals for the audiences.”

Masada says he has commitments from some of the biggest names in stand-up. “I have already spoken with Paul Rodriguez, Dave Chappelle, Dom Irrera, Paul Mooney, Tom Arnold – they all agreed to donate their time.”

I don’t know about you, but I already thought the government was deeply involved in the comedy business. Not a day goes by that I don’t laugh my ass off at their slapstick-style buffoonery. It would be the perfect pairing if government and comedy hooked up officially.

Once the comedy industry starts taking government money, they’ll be subject to government rules and regs. Can you imagine?

What’s the future of comedy when and if it’s socialized and fully run by the government? I’m looking forward to jokes like this:

“Knock Knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“It’s discrimination to base your decision on whether or not to open this door on the sound of my name, you know.”

I can’t wait.

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