September 26th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #615 'The Sunday funnies'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: I have no idea what President Obama really thinks is funny. Although judging from his lack of response, I’m pretty sure it’s not these letters.

Dear Mr. President,

You know what I used to love most of all about Sundays, and I mean for years? The comics! When I was a kid, my family went to church more often than the preacher, and all through those long, hot, and often boring services, my consolation was knowing that the brightest, most colorful pages in the newspaper were waiting for me at home.

I read them in a particular order; always opening with a classic favorite like Peanuts, and closing with a newer, but brilliantly funny offering like…oh say, Bloom County or Calvin and Hobbes, or…well, I can’t remember the older ones right now. As you can see from the strips I mentioned, I kept up the practice for a good many years after I was a kid.

But then the newspapers kept making the comics smaller and smaller; they surrendered some of their zip. And I gradually lost interest which really is a shame for a number of reasons.

First, I think everyone needs a good laugh now and then. I don’t know if laughter is the best medicine, because I’ve been led to believe that penicillin is not bad. But I do know that I invariably feel better about my home, my neighborhood, my life and my world if I have a decent chuckle in the day.

But second, I have to say, that I think the comics were once an excellent barometer of the real news. Not in the snarky, mean-spirited way that a lot of modern comedy plays off of the news and demeans people in the process, but rather in a general way. I could always tell when a social debate or trend had truly reached the point where average folks were aware of it, because it would show up in the comics. See, cartoonists are after laughs, and you can’t get a laugh if people don’t know what the heck you are talking about (which, btw, is why I gave up on Zippy the Pinhead,) so comics were naturally designed to home in on our common experiences and understandings.

Anyway, just something that was one my mind, because I notice a lot of articles about you and the rest of the DC crowd in my Sunday paper all the time anymore, and frankly they’re not funny at all.

Ah well. Call if you can. I have the complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes in three volumes. If you want to come over, we can read a while.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Gail Duncan

    LOL, so true. Sad but true.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:55 am |
  2. Karen Tan

    It does make me laugh out loud and I am going to show it to my 9yrs old son. He likes to read comics like u. I think the letter would make the pres laughs too.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:20 am |
  3. jen

    Why bother writing these chronicles when obviously the President doesn't have time for your senseless idiosynchrasies. Go to eyeglass world and get a new pair of glasses instead. Wake up!

    September 26, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  4. Ella

    Yes hello! I think its kinda sad how the world picks at Mr. Obama 4everything! He has a lot to handle n the usa makes it seem like its a over nite job! Please leave our president alone n let him do his job!

    September 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  5. Lillian Carilo

    #615: Perfect example why I love Tom Foreman

    September 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm |