There’s a guy over in Hartsville who you can bet on to give you a good laugh, particularly if you like politics. The good news: His humor works for Republicans, Democrats and anybody who loves Dollar General, lard and Bea Arthur as Maude.
Just about every day, he’ll bring a smile to your face on Facebook through some wry observation, witticism or old-school joke that evokes the clean humor and one-liners of Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Steven Wright and Bob Newhart.
Meet Andy Williams, South Carolina’s equal opportunity political goofball. Sometimes he’s serious. Sometimes he’s full of prunes. Always though, he’s pithy with just the right thing to make you stop taking everything so seriously when you can’t get away from too-serious people openly displaying emotions on their sleeves.
On Tuesday night as election returns rolled in slowly, Williams wanted things to move along. Rather than complain, he joked:
“Hey Australia, can you tell me who won the election? I want to go to bed.”
Two minutes later came another zinger:
“This is more math than I signed up for. #USA”
Then came this perfectly-timed question: “Anything good on TV tonight?” That was followed by “I just want to pursue my dream of sleeping again” and “America needs a cold shower.”
Williams’s humor is often so simple that it’s complex. Sometimes, it seems shallow and slapstick. Other times, it’s rich with cultural insights.
Democrats love Andy Williams. So do Republicans. Years ago, he worked in Washington for Republican icon Strom Thurmond and then in Columbia for Democratic legend Fritz Hollings. He’s got thousands of friends. And he’s got pictures with politicians from Nikki Haley to Tim Scott.
Williams offers refreshing political observations that often are laugh-out-loud funny. What’s really amazing is that his stream of one-liners comes day after day, year after year, always ready to pounce onto your funny bone.
Just after midnight on election night: “Can someone just go pull a groundhog from its hole in PA and tell us if we’re going to have darkness for four more years?” Four minutes later: “Y’all, it’s not looking good for Kanye. #ElectionNight”
In the wee hours of Wednesday, President Trump claimed victory in the presidential contest, despite all votes not being counted. This led Williams to observe, “As long as we’re claiming things today and tonight in America, and anything seems to be appropriate to claim by some, I’m claiming that I’m younger and thinner than I really am.”
When a friend observed she needed to learn to keep her political thoughts to herself, Williams answered, giving insight into the methods of his sparkle: “I haven’t done anything. That’s the darn point. There is not a bit of political material on my page, only some general political humor and buffoonery. My page isn’t about any division or hurtful nonsense.”
As he proved Wednesday: “I LIKE it when it gets dark earlier. I like the nightlife. I like to boogie.” Or this: “When I became an adult, I was so unprepared for how expensive ziplock bags are. Carry on.”
His comments often include references to all things Maude and Golden Girls. He’s also keen on Scooby Doo, Piggly Wiggly, disco, Dionne Warwick, Charlie Brown, Charles Nelson Reilly and Burt Reynolds. And he’s got a special place in his heart for his hometown, church, missionary work and political volunteering, as he showed Tuesday in a polling location in Darlington County. A voter started crying when she wasn’t let inside her precinct because rules prohibit wearing campaign material (she wore a Trump shirt).
“As most of you know, I always, always wear a blue blazer, ‘on duty anywhere,’ so guess what ole Andy did? I said to her, ‘Put this on, button it up, and go in and cast your vote.’ When it comes to my job, I have to be helpful and fair to all. I conduct my life that way, today everywhere else. We do what we have to do for our neighbors. It doesn’t matter what side you are on. We just need to love each other more. I’m also a sucker for a lady crying.”
Thanks, Andy. We all can use a little more common sense and humor in our lives.
Andy Brack is publisher of Charleston City Paper. Have a comment? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.