'Top 10 Fun Facts About Gardening' is a tough row to hoe in the chuckles department, but Michelle Obama nonetheless managed to be funny. Still, David Letterman's job is not in jeopardy.
First lady Michelle Obama was on the “Late Show with David Letterman” Tuesday night in honor of the publication of her new book, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden.” She delivered the Top 10 list: Top 10 Fun Facts About Gardening. How did it go? Was she funny?
Well, you can watch it here, and make your own conclusion. From our point of view, she was funny, since the Letterman writers could wring a laugh out of anything. (Our favorite was No. 4: “If you have an actual green thumb, it might be scurvy.”) But she wasn’t FUNNY, if you know what we mean. The chuckle-meter wasn’t set to “stun.”
Mainly that’s because gardening is not inherently humorous. Names for Newt’s moon colony, Joe Biden nicknames – those are topics with comedy juice. Gardening is all heirloom mulch and where-should-we-put-the-salvia. It’s earnest and good for you. That’s hard to mock. Or hard to mock without going too far. Mrs. Obama might as well have been doing “Top 10 Fun Facts about Fresh Air.”
(OK, we did like the bit about “Weed Whacker One.” But “gardening was invented in 1822 by Albert Gardener”? That’s too subtle for our taste.)