“When I go in for a physical now they no longer ask how old I am, they just carbon date me.” – President Ronald Reagan
While one of the most prominent and divisive political figures of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan did have one skill that appealed to many Americans across the political spectrum—he was funny. Family members recall how Reagan used humor at an early age as a coping mechanism for living with an alcoholic father. It was a skill that served him well first as an actor in Hollywood, then on the campaign trail and all the way to the Oval Office.
We’ve compiled some of the best videos of Reagan wielding his comedic skills in a variety of settings. Take some time to explore the humorous side of our 40th President.
RONALD REAGAN’S ONE-LINERS | CBS SUNDAY MORNING
In this CBS Sunday Morning segment, correspondent Mo Rocca investigates how Reagan deployed humor as much a political tool and a method of survival. (Note: The segment begins with news footage of the attempted assassination of Reagan on March 30, 1981. It was a traumatic event that Reagan again used comedy to cope with. Shortly before being wheeled into the operating room he told his wife, Nancy, “Honey, I forgot to duck.”)
THE BEST OF PRESIDENT REAGAN’S HUMOR | REAGAN LIBRARY
This compilation of speeches by Reagan includes classic quips from the State of the Union Address, special appearances, press briefings and more.
RONALD REAGAN TELLS SOVIET JOKES
Some of Reagan’s most well known jokes were also part of the political tete-a-tete with the Soviet Union. Poking fun at Communist life while highlighting American values like capitalism and free markets, Reagan’s gentle teasing helped support his policies and outreach efforts to Mikhail Gorbachev and the U.S.S.R. This news report from NBC Nightly News’ Connie Chung shows many of Reagan’s best jokes aimed at the Russians and talks about how they were received in the midst of negotiations between the two countries.
Experience a slice of Reagan history at Blind Date by Rogelio Martinez and directed by Robert Falls! Now playing through February 25. Get 50% off performances now through January 26 with promo code REAGAN. BUY TICKETS >>