2020 has been a huge year in the career of comedy veteran Rudy Giuliani.
He began his career in comedy back in 1997, when he supplemented his part-time gig as mayor of New York City with hosting duties at Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, he hadn’t yet refined his craft to become the hilarious avant-garde performance artist we know today.
At the time, his approach to comedy consisted primarily of dressing in drag and struggling to read cue cards. But, as funny as that is to watch, audiences didn’t really “get” him, and Rudy’s turn as host has frequently been listed among the worst in the history of SNL.
Rita Delvecchio’s Thanksgiving – SNL
Still, he had obvious potential as a sloppy, bumbling comedic genius. He would return to the show on multiple occasions, but it wasn’t until years later — as a frequent guest on cable news — that Giuliani settled into his current, brilliant niche as “Donald Trump’s personal lawyer” and a “cybersecurity advisor.”
At 76 years old, conventional wisdom would dictate that Rudy’s best years in comedy were far behind him. But Rudy Giuliani has never cared much for “convention” or “wisdom.” In addition to various angry and unhinged rants, Rudy has given us some amazing comedy moments like the time he butt-dialed a reporter, the time he went to the Apple Genius Bar after getting locked out of his phone, and the time he texted another reporter his private password.
And those are just the cybersecurity bits from 2019! In 2020 his “lawyer” persona has reached new levels of comedy, including his scene-stealing collaboration with Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat 2 and a series of press conferences in which he “accidentally” booked a landscaping company instead of a luxury hotel and allowed hair dye to drip slowly down the sides of his face.
But this week he has topped himself. Rather than introducing another classic Rudy character, he used the incredible moment he’s been having to elevate a newcomer — passing on the torch of sloppy political ranting to a new generation of comedic genius: Melissa Carone.
Trump’s star voter fraud witness goes viral HUMILIATING herself at “hearing”
Carone had previously given a solid performances as the incomprehensible “whistleblower” on Fox Business’s Lou Dobbs Tonight. There she demonstrated how poorly she could explain concepts like ballots being counted incorrectly and mysterious vans delivering something other than food.
With Dobbs she put on an amusing show, but was a bit too stiff and put-together to really lose herself in the role. It was only with Rudy’s coaching that Carone was able to loosen up and deliver the sloppy, belligerent performance of a lifetime in a hearing in front of the Michigan legislature on Wednesday.
Billed as a key witness of election misconduct and voter fraud, Carone was on a roll throughout the hearing. In addition to making her explanation of ballot tabulation even more confusing, she slurred her speech and frequently interrupted the state senators with hostile comments while they attempted to clarify her baseless and confusing accusations.
I thought Rudy Giuliani was crazy.
Then I thought that Trump’s 46-minute tirade was insane.
But the #Trump Star… https://t.co/hBVLxsNMDX
— Colonel Hardstone (@Colonel Hardstone)1607003476.0
Carone’s bit involves her role as an IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems, which placed her in Detroit’s TCF while votes were being counted for the November 3rd election. There she claims to have seen workers counting stacks of ballots multiple times and signing voters names to incorrectly copied ballots.
Though Carone’s claims have already been dismissed in court as incompatible with other witness testimony and “simply not credible,” that didn’t slow her down. She continued to hilariously claim that the fact that she had signed an affidavit was proof enough that she was telling the truth.
With unflinching, sloppy confidence, she delivered lines like, “I can’t even get an actual job anymore … because Democrats like to ruin your lives” and, “I signed something saying that if I’m wrong I can go to prison. Did you?” It was almost enough to make you believe that she really meant it — which served to make the whole thing that much funnier.
Weekend Update: Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with on the 2016 Election – SNL
While others have compared her performance to characters from Saturday Night Live (specifically, Cecily Strong’s drunk girl character), there is something unrestrained and bizarre about it that more accurately recalls the heyday of Mad TV. Judging by the way he attempted to shush her, even Rudy couldn’t believe how funny Carone was being, as she interrupted Republican state representative Steven Johnson to claim that the Detroit poll book contains zero registered voters and that turnout was 120% (it was actually under 50%).
Does it matter that she offers no evidence to support her claims that the poll book is “wildly off” by “over 100,000” votes or that “dead people voted and illegals voted?” Of course it matters. If she had any evidence for these claims, it wouldn’t be comedy gold.
And now we have more of that comedy gold to look forward to. While the current outpouring of hilarious political comedy around “election fraud” and various clumsy, attempted coups is set to wrap up on December 14th, when the electoral college votes to elect Joe Biden the next president, Melissa Carone gives us a reason to be hopeful for the future of comedy.
Even if Rudy Giuliani retires from comedy later this month, he has anointed an heir in Carone. With her talent now in full bloom, we can all look forward to many more years of virtuosic comedic rants.