There’s a new presidential candidate in town: Jimmy Tingle performs at FSU

(Jimmy Tingle mocks presidential candidates and promotes his comedic candidacy. Photo by Erin Fitzmaurice)

Political humorist Jimmy Tingle appealed to the Framingham community in a bid to win their votes for President of the United States.

Tingle poked fun at the two major party candidates during his performance, “Jimmy Tingle for President: Humor for Humanity” on Oct. 27 in DPAC.

Lisa Eck, chairperson of the Arts & Ideas committee and English professor, welcomed the audience to the event, which is part of this year’s “Change the Conversation, Change the World” series.

Tingle “changes the conversation by changing” its form, said Eck.

She said, “I think what I appreciate most about his comedy is it is humor with a social conscience. … it is a message to think outside the status quo.”

Rebecca Hawk, director of community education and English language program, introduced her friend Tingle, a Cambridge-born comedian who has been a guest on multiple talk shows, including “The Tonight Show” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”

“He is regarded as one of the top social and political humorists in America,” said Hawk.

Tingle entered the auditorium and immediately shook audience members’ hands, saying, “I hope I have your support in November.”

He began the show by introducing his new party name – Humor for Humanity – joking, “Humor is easy – it’s the humanity that’s hard to follow.”

He added, “I’m not delusional, so I won’t win [the presidential election]. … I’m tired of the negativity. There’s so much positivity we don’t hear about.”

Tingle urged the audience to get involved in the elections and to “put action where values lie.”

He then addressed his opponents, Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He posed different scenarios based on the idea that his opponents were of the opposite gender.

To answer the question, “If Trump were a woman,” Tingle responded that Trump’s hair being criticized more than usual, his yelling would be attributed to hormones and his multiple marriages would earn him the title “gold digger.” This excercise had the audience laughing.

Tingle said, “If Hillary were a man,” when she would yell, it would be considered as an act of leadership and no one would judge her pantsuits because every male politician wears the same outfit every day.

He compared Clinton’s and Trump’s negative attributes, including Trump’s reputation with the Hispanic community. He said, “The only way [Trump] could get the Hispanic vote is by apologizing in Spanish.” This was followed by an impersonation of Trump that had the crowd applauding.

Tingle combated a number of Trump’s ideas, specifically his infamous plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. “A plane can go over a wall. … Trump needs a dome.”

He then moved toward his own “Tingle Agenda,” in order to win over the audience.

This agenda includs a tollbooths at all state borders instead of multiple tolls across the state. “Ten dollars to get into Massachusetts and twenty to leave,” said Tingle.

He complained that “every television drama has a murder.” His solution is to tax television shows every time someone dies.

He even made a promise to the University – “I’m gonna get [FSU] a pub.”

To save energy, Tingle suggests windmills on each traffic light and if there is no wind, “don’t stop.”

Other ideas includes a train of automobiles, in which all cars would be attached like a train, and generators attached to the exercise bikes at gyms. 

Tingle addressed students, calling them “digital natives” and complained that as a Harvard graduate, he can’t turn on his TV.

Complaints about technology included the color cartridge for printers – how the yellow is irrelevant, blue is called cyan and red is called magenta. “Have you ever used that word before? … Are we in the Renaissance?” asked Tingle.

In terms of texting, he said, “I don’t hit the right buttons and my wife doesn’t, either. What was supposed to be a love text turned into a conversation about incarceration and drug addiction.”

Tingle concluded the performance by saying, “It is very intense out there. Support someone. … After the election, we are still on the same boat. … There is give and take. You have to adapt.”

Freshman Cori Farrow said, “It is good to have someone talk about politics in a way no one will get mad.”

Molly Roach, a freshman, said, “It was nice to see someone from the community who is successful and funny.”

Freshman Megan Chestna said, “I normally don’t follow politics, but his performance engaged me.”

Hawk said, “We wanted to change the world. … People walked out with a smile on their faces. It’s incredible.”

Tingle accredited his appearance to Hawk. “We’ve been talking about it for five years. I perform all the time. When it is with a purpose, it is extra special. It is great when a college connects with their community.”