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Jerry Summers: Tennessee Political Humor No. 1


Jerry Summers

In 2000 the College of Tennessee/Knoxville revealed the three way partnership assortment of tales and tales (some truly true) written by the late LH “Cotton” Ivy (1930-2021) and his co-author, Roy Herron, titled Tennessee Political Humor.

Ivy served within the Tennessee Common Meeting and was commissioner of agriculture beneath Governor Ned Ray McWherter and was additionally an writer and humorist.

Roy Herron, trial lawyer, state senator, and Methodist minister, is acknowledged as an writer and public speaker.

Previous to his dying at age 91, Ivy and Herron revealed 132 pages of political tales from the Volunteer State which can be timeless, however some will educate and entertain Tennesseans and invaders from the North, California, and so on. in 2023.

Following are a number of examples of political humor contained within the paperback which can be designed to entertain and humor the readers:

1. REPUBLICAN PUPPIES FOR SALE: In 1986 each Ivy and Herron have been operating for the Tennessee legislature. A Republican opponent advised the next story at a civic membership:

I used to be out campaigning and got here to a home that had an indication out entrance that mentioned: “Democratic puppies on the market.” So, I made a decision I might not waste my time searching for a vote there.

A number of days later I got here by the identical home and the signal had been modified to learn: “Republican puppies on the market.”

Intrigued by the change, and extra hopeful of discovering a vote, this time I ended. I knocked, and a person got here to the door.

“Pardon me, sir,” I mentioned: “I observed that you’ve modified your signal from ‘Democratic puppies on the market’ to ‘Republican puppies on the market.’ Do you might have some new puppies?”

“Oh no,” the gentleman replied. “They’re the identical puppies. However now they have their eyes open.


As Speaker McWherter was operating for governor, one long-time good friend mentioned admiringly: “That Ned is one clean politician. I imply, he is aware of methods to butter the bread on either side and by no means let it drop off both one… He can sic a canine on a cat and make the cat assume he is his good friend.”


It was a troublesome night time for flying, or not less than for touchdown. Senator Howard Baker, his press secretary Ron McMahan, and a few members of the media have been flying in a small aircraft right into a small Tennessee airport. The clouds have been low and the visibility not a lot when the pilot tried the touchdown.

On the final second, the pilot aborted the touchdown, pulled the aircraft’s nostril again up, and went round once more. His voice came visiting the intercom, explaining that he thought it was finest that they take one other try at touchdown.

That received everybody’s consideration. They peered out into the clouds within the darkness, seeing nothing resembling the earth.

The pilot introduced the aircraft again round, and so they might really feel the aircraft slowing and descending once more. However as soon as once more the pilot yanked the management again, pushed the throttle ahead, and pulled the aircraft out of its descent into who knew what.

The pilot got here on the intercom once more, apologizing and saying that they must take one other attempt. Baker’s press secretary spoke for everybody when he yelled to the pilot: “Land this ___________ factor! There’s not sufficient Jack Daniels to overlook it once more!”

The tales advised throughout the paperback publication are from one other period the place humor in politics was an ordinary instrument that didn’t method the vicious assaults on one opponent within the better visibility of cable tv and speak present commentators of in the present day.

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