African American, Barack Obama, Black men, Education, Humor, politics, Satire

Nobel Prize Jokes Near All-Time High

By Bill Matthews

nielsSomething about Nobel winner Niels Jerne just said comedy

(OSLO, NORWAY) Punchlines involving the Nobel Prize have soared in the days since President Obama won the Peace designation, but officials say it hasn’t come close to the furor of 1984.

“When Niels Jerne won the award for Physiology or Medicine, that was comedy gold,” said Nobel chairman Thorbjoern Jagland. “I mean, Johnny Carson led off the Tonight Show with Jerne for months.”

Since Obama won, punchlines involving the Nobel Prize are up 72 percent from this time last year. Experts say the jokes are the first sure sign that the economy is recovering.

“If we can find enough levity to joke about an American president winning the Nobel Prize, then things are certainly looking up,” said Alan Greenspan.

The guffaws are reminiscent of 1984, when the country was also emerging from a recession.

Jerne, as everyone remembers, was a Brit who worked at the Danish State Serum Institute before becoming a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology. His Nobel selection for theories concerning the specificity in development and control of the immune system and the discovery of the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies was on everyone’s lips.

“You couldn’t take a step without hearing a Jerne joke. People were saying his name and confusing it with ‘germ,’ which almost sounds the same and that’s what made it so funny,” Rodney Dangerfield wrote in his autobiography.

“And then people were coming up with other things he won, like beating out the Tigers for the World Series or getting a Latin Grammy. Jokes like that never got old.”

And, of course, Lionel Richie brought down the house at the 1985 Grammy Awards, when, after winning album of the year, he said he thought they had called Niels Jerne’s name. Entertainment Weekly voted that No.3 on the all-time best moments in live television, just ahead of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s casket.

The charismatic Jerne, who was 72 when he won, turned his victory into gold, scoring sponsorships with Nike, Coke and the Monoclonal Society of America. He starred on the ABC sitcom Where’s the Research Scientist? with Clara Peller, a sassy old-timer who also hit the comedy jackpot with her delivery of the “Where’s the Beef?” line.

The show introduced a young Jamie Foxx as Too Sweet, an orphan with a heart of gold, and lasted four seasons.

“It was a simpler time, before irony took over America, when Nobel prize winners were the butt of jokes all the time, no matter how significant or insignificant their accomplishment,” said Rob Bates, a comedy writer whose 1986 classic movie Dammit I’m Dead was inspired by the fallout from Jerne’s victory. “The jokes about Obama’s victory really make us all feel young again.”

Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News.

© 2009 The Peoples News


11 thoughts on “Nobel Prize Jokes Near All-Time High

  1. I don’t know about having to make jokes about the peace price award. I am just upset they didn’t give him the Nobel Prize for Economics,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Posted by Mike | October 12, 2009, 9:10 am
  2. In honor of this fine decision, by this very distinguished committee, I intend to hand out Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance awards at my school three weeks before the end of the quarter. All students who have told me they want to be on Honor Roll, both last year and this year, will be receiving that honor. Only those students who missed school prior to the Nobel decision will not get Perfect Attendance.
    Congratulations students! Now get to work and earn it!

    Posted by Renee | October 12, 2009, 9:45 am
  3. very funny. took an unexpected approach, but what else would you expect from TPN?

    Posted by me likey | October 12, 2009, 10:04 am
  4. Although Niels Jernethis did win this article is so funny.. But Woodrow Wilson winning the Nobel Prize for Peace is something I still wonder about…

    Posted by Jean | October 12, 2009, 11:21 am
  5. Nobody gave a rip about how “deserving” anyone was of winning a Nobel until this guy gets one. Surprise, surprise.

    I think maybe the rest of the world is just thrilled to no longer have special needs student in the American White House.

    Posted by LOU | October 12, 2009, 11:23 am
  6. But everybody who has won the Nobel Peace Prize did so for their efforts and not for something actually achieved. If we look back at those winners, it’s clear that this is the case. I think that president Obama efforts at nuclear disarmament; reaching out to enemies as well as friends, his willingness to use diplomacy in an increasingly hostile world is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. Not to mention that he deserves it for his peaceful nature in the midst of the hatred here at home against him. He tries for bi-partisanship even tho he is rebuffed at every turn. His monumental efforts to bring affordable health care to every American citizen is enough to garner this award for him. For a black man to win the presidency in the most hostile, unusual nation in the world as our president did should garner him TWO Nobel Peace Prizes. Congratulations Mr. President. You deserve it Combat Duties in this country. LOL

    Posted by Jean | October 12, 2009, 11:27 am
  7. Well said Jean. From day one he has made an effort to re-open the lines of international communication. What could be more condusive to peace than that? Woodrow Wilson, despite residing over a period of economic turmoil, was nominated for similar reasons (helping to found the League of Nations).I’ve never seen this much intense scrutiny be placed on the Noble committee’s decision process until now.

    Posted by LOU | October 12, 2009, 1:24 pm
  8. Hey, anybody who can bring a white policeman and a black professor together for a peaceful drink deserves this award.

    Posted by Leroy | October 12, 2009, 1:59 pm
  9. Woodrow Wilson was a staunch Segregationist. He stated that Birth of a Nation was THE greatest film. As a segregationist ,he fired black workers from federal jobs when he became president.

    Posted by Jean | October 12, 2009, 2:29 pm
  10. By the way, I was only stating why Wilson was nominated.. which was for helping to found the League of Nations (which we now know as the U.N.). Not implying that he was a great president or champion of civil rights by any stretch of the imagination.

    Posted by LOU | October 13, 2009, 7:01 am
  11. The more I read it, the more it impresses me. I don’t know how I ever worked without hilarious and funny things in our life, Life would be so much easier especially when there’s a jokes here and there. Being funny is nice because a lot of serious people are lacking with this kind of behavior that is why they are much look older. I would like to thank you for your outstanding blog post. Keep it up! Awesome!

    Posted by Hilarious Joker | November 9, 2009, 1:21 am

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