Vinay Menon: Why Rudy Giuliani is the Andy Kaufman of our time
In these divided times, Rudy Giuliani deserves credit for uniting liberals and conservatives around one point of agreement: he sucks at his job.
Personally, I remain convinced Mr. Giuliani is working for special counsel Robert Mueller. Or he’s a Russian agent. Or a plant by the Deep State. Or maybe, under the guise of serving as one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, Giuliani is secretly filming a Netflix comedy special. He is the funniest man alive right now.
Dave Chappelle? Chris Rock? Bill Burr? They’ve got nothing on this guy.
Have you ever seen the physical comedy that is Giuliani attempting to operate a smart phone in public? His face turns into a bowl of mashed potatoes. The corners of his mouth dart up and down like a teeter-totter. His fingers jab at the screen willy-nilly, as if a bewildered voice in his head is shouting: “Touch there! No, touch over there! Swipe left! Swipe right! Swipe your forehead! Do the grimacing smile!”
It’s like watching a chimp bang on a self-serve kiosk at the airport.
This is the key to Giuliani’s comedy: not to know how things work.
If this guy had a cooking show, each episode would end with him burning down the set kitchen and then shrugging at the camera, palms up, with that toothy grin. If he were a cop, he’d handcuff himself to his steering wheel during a high-speed takedown. When Giuliani takes a shower, he probably washes his hair by drinking the shampoo and berating the conditioner as being part of a liberal plot.
Give him an umbrella and he’d instinctively use it as a sleeping bag.
And his latest ignoramus knee-slapper is pure comedy gold.
The other day on Twitter, Giuliani was spitballing new anti-Mueller material for his stand-up fans when a typo became the set-up. He forgot to leave a space between sentences. This turned “G-20” and “In” into “G-20.In,” which in turn automatically created a clickable link to an external site that, at that moment, did not exist.
Enter Jason Velazquez, a 37-year-old comic and web designer from Atlanta, who promptly snapped up the domain “G-20.In” for 5 bucks and then, within 15 minutes, posted a message that can still be read as of Wednesday.
“Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country.”
The entire world spit out coffee and fell out of chairs.
Now, if Giuliani were an actual lawyer for a president in deep legal trouble – that is, if he were not the Andy Kaufman of our time – he’d have recognized the gaffe. As someone who was once Trump’s cyber security advisor, he presumably understands the Internet. He’d quickly realize it’s not wise to share a link, even unwittingly, that declares his client a traitor. The voice in his head would say, “Uh oh.”
Then he’d delete the original tweet and go for a do-over.
But Giuliani is not a presidential lawyer any more than Cardi B is an astrophysicist.
He is a performance artist motivated by subversive hilarity. He won’t rest until he’s hired by .
So instead of snuffing the flames of yet another blunder to go viral, Giuliani fired up his tweet machine with a can of gasoline on Tuesday: “Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers...”
Unaware of how the Internet, or anything, actually works, Giuliani makes a typo that leads to a public humiliation due to the quick-thinking actions of a prankster. Then instead of seeing this sequence through Occam’s Razor, he takes a Gillette Mach 3 Turbo to common sense and shaves off a conspiracy theory that involves a nefarious plot in which, what, a social media firm overrun with bad actors invades his text – – to make a disgusting political statement?
You know, I’m starting to feel sorry for Trump. Giuliani versus Mueller is turning into a bigger mismatch than Floyd Mayweather versus Danny DeVito. Trump could now get better legal representation from a box of Cheerios.
This week, instead of letting a quietly vanish without a fuss, Giuliani took a bullhorn to his own credibility by blaming Twitter for his mistake. This is like driving a car into a tree and then pointing a finger at photosynthesis.
Giuliani defended himself with a bonkers allegation that can be easily disproven by grade schoolers. And this is where he really mucked up: his conspiracy theory about Twitter sounds an awful lot like the “witch hunt” garbage about Mueller. So while showcasing another powerful exhibit in not knowing how anything works, Giuliani also just shot another hole into his only real defence of Trump.
This guy is the greatest comedian alive.
There can be no other explanation.
Vinay Menon is the Star's pop culture columnist based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @vinaymenon