Wednesday, July 9, 2008

MY TOP 5 PRESIDENTS by Gregg Gethard

Things just seem to happen to Gregg Gethard. After telling a few stories at comedy shows in New York City, he created his own monthly show in Philly, BEDTIME STORIES, to tell a few more. Over the past year the show has grown in audience and features some of the best comics in the city. The next installment of Bedtime Stories is TONIGHT, July 9th, 8PM, Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge).

History is my favorite academic subject. In college, I took nine history classes in my final two semesters in order to get a double major in Communication and History. Combined, this means that maybe one day I could intern for Ken Burns but mostly it means low-paying and little-rewarding jobs. At one point in time, I signed up to participate in a re-creation of Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, only to withdraw when I realized it would make it even harder for me to get laid.

That is why I am incredibly excited for the next Bedtime Stories, where the topic will be American History. The best part about Bedtime Stories, I think, is that it gives all the performers a chance to get really specific regarding that month’s topic. If all goes well this month, I’ll keep doing American history topics and make them narrower and narrower. I think a show completely dedicated to the Kansas-Nebraska Act or the Gadsden Purchase would be pretty great.

As such, I will now list the American presidents I find the most fascinating:

1. Rutherford B. Hayes: He ran for president in 1876. Hayes, an Ohio Republican, campaigned against Democrat Samuel Tilden, who once confessed to a friend that he had never slept with a woman. (I find this fascinating. Not that a closeted homosexual nearly became president, but that a closeted gay man didn’t ever sleep with a woman.) Neither Hayes nor Tilden received enough electoral votes to clinch the presidency. And three states had contested ballots with no clear winner. No one knew what to do, so a backroom deal known as the “Compromise of 1877” was made. Southern electors would cast their votes behind Hayes who, in return, had to agree to pull federal troops out of the South, which led to Jim Crow laws and racial segregation until the 1960’s. But while he pulled out federal troops whom were protecting recently freed slaves, he later inserted federal troops into various American cities to prevent railroad workers from striking, killing more than 70 striking workers as a result. George Bush is a pretty awful president but Rutherford B. Hayes is possibly worse. He won an even more sleazy rigged election. He messed up the lives of African-Americans more than Bush did after Katrina. And Bush’s misuse of federal troops has at least been used to kill Iraqis and not his own citizenry. It’s debatable, but both of them have a strong case as the worst president in American history. America rules.

2. William Henry Harrison: Harrison is known primarily for two things; his inaugural address lasted for well over two hours in freezing cold weather and then 30 days later he died of pneumonia, which he most likely developed while reading a speech for over two hours in freezing cold weather. That kind of serves him right. Can you imagine if either Barack or McCain did that to us this January? Fuck that.

3. David Rice Atchison: President James K. Polk left office. His successor, Zachary Taylor, was supposed to be sworn in on a Sunday. But being a devout Christian, Taylor refused to be sworn in on a Sunday. However, the country still needed a president for the day. Atchison was the president-pro tempore of the Senate, which, via a loophole, allowed him to become president for a few hours. That would be pretty cool, I think. But one question: Why didn’t a foreign country invade us on the day this guy was president? They would have had such an advantage as the commander-in-chief couldn’t really make a decision since in a few hours his term was up. Also, there is a big debate amongst history scholars if Atchison actually was president or not due to various readings of the Constitution. These people are dorks.

4. Warren G. Harding: President during the early part of the 1920’s. Considered in his era to be a premier “DILF,” kind of like the dad from The OC. Had many, many mistresses. One of them, scorned by her love of Warren G. Harding’s deep dicking abilities, blackmailed the Republican Party into paying for a trip around the world and an annual check. Another of his mistresses, Nan Britton, was a teenager who was obsessed with him. When she turned 20, Harding popped her cherry and the two had a hot-and-heavy affair for the next few years. Harding allegedly banged her while the two were in an Oval Office closet, a little less degrading than Monica Lewinsky going down on Bill Clinton and then wearing his remains on her clothes. He also fathered an illegitimate child with her.In addition, his affair with Nan Britton has produced one of the most insane websites of all time, a collection of fan-fic written about their relationship. Also, his administration caused the Teapot Dome Scandal which was also pretty fucked up.

5. Gerald Ford: His birth name was actually Leslie Lynch King Junior. His mom’s first husband was a beater so she ditched him and eventually re-married a man named Gerald Ford. She then completely changed her son’s name to Gerald Ford Junior even though he was over three years old and probably slightly cognizant of what his name was. He didn’t legally change his name to Gerald Ford until he was 23 years old. Seriously, what the fuck? I get shit from certain people for spelling my name "Gregg" when my name is actually "Gregory" with one G. I changed it just because I like "Gregg" better and Gregg Jeffries was my favorite New York Met at the time. Why the hell did the members of his college fraternity, or his teammates on the U of Michigan football team, not beat the shit out of him for changing his name a little late in the game?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tilden was NOT a closeted homosexual...just because he never slept with a woman doesn't make him Gay...Nikki Oldaker, Author

Anonymous said...

Calling yourself an author when you self-published your book ruins your credibility. I can call myself a writer since I've actually been paid to write on subjects which other people have published. You're not an author. You own a publishing company and published your own material. That's the equivalent of writing a poem, photocopying it a bunch of times, handing it out at a bus station and claiming to be a poet.

Did you have your facts checked by an independent source? Did you even have an editor review your work? How much did you rely on Wikipedia for your research? Do you have any background at all as a historian?

The answer to that is no, according to the biography on your website for your Senate campaign. You worked at a beauty salon, at a hotel, as an auditor (most likely uncertified), a "WEB" publisher and as a "screen writer/producer."

According to the summary of your book on Amazon, you write about how he won by over 264,000 votes. This is true. But so what? We have an electoral college which is what really matters. If you focused solely on the popular vote then you are misrepresenting the facts of the story.

Also, in the summary you cast the blame of The Compromise of 1877 on a NY Times editor and the Republican Party. The Democrats were just as complicit in the affair. Casting blame on one political party shows a gross bias.

Uhm, never sleeping with a woman but not being out probably means he was closeted.

I quote historian James Fisher.

"Samuel Tilden was either asexual, or he was the first gay man to run for president."

Also, "gay" shouldn't be capitalized and you use elipses too much.

According to the summary of your book on Amazon, you write about how he won by over 264,000 votes. This is true. But so what? We have an electoral college which is what really matters. If you focused solely on the popular vote then you are misrepresenting the facts of the story.

Also, in the summary you cast the blame of The Compromise of 1877 on a NY Times editor and the Republican Party. The Democrats were just as complicit in the affair. Casting blame on one political party shows a gross bias.

I'm guessing you probably hate the modern day Republican party and are using your views of today to criticize an event with happened two centuries ago with an entirely different political climate. That's like comparing apples and oranges and, frankly, anyone writing about history should know better.

Have fun pitching your work to C-Span's "Book TV." And I also wish you luck trying to turn your book into a feature film.

But from the facts I have learned about you (and your awful grammar) and from what little I can ascertain about the book, it seems like it's absolute tripe.

... Gregg Gethard, Comedian.

John said...

buuuuuuuurn!

Johnny Goodtimes said...

I thought I was the only one who got in heated arguments with people over the sexuality of 1870s politicians. That being said, I'd like to take this opportunity to settle an argument I recently had with Pat House: Horace Greeley was not a homo, you fucking prick!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to disagree with your assessment of Rutherford B. Hayes. At least according to this hilarious, and seemingly reputable, website; his administration was marred by scandal, he played no part in making the agreement with southern democrats to remove troops from the south. (www.thewashingtonpugilist.com) Admittedly, he did follow through with the agreement, but most historians agree that his administration was a modest, if uneventful succes, after the initial debacle and scandal. Either way, I think you'd enjoy their funny and informative assessment of Hayes.

Anonymous said...

Why did you get fired?