Comedian Don Tjernagel, who grew up in Iowa, fell in love with comedy while attending school in Las Vegas. His website refers to him as the “All American Jester.” I would like to think of him as a combination of the risqué comedy of Lenny Bruce and Andy Rooney’s bitching about everything under the sun. Bruce devoted his life to telling the truth, however, if you are familiar with this 1950s comedian, you will remember that the truth often infuriated those in power.
Tjernagel has authored a book entitled American Infidel, where he explores the many topics involving sex and politics that form the basis of his comedy “shtick.” It is noteworthy to mention that anyone wishing to engage this comedian is advised that his shows have language and content warning. The book is taken from first hand accounts from his various shows performed all over the world.
His humor is biting, however, you have to admit they nevertheless are filled with truisms. Commenting on bad women, he tells the story where he used to travel to Chicago and meet up with an old girlfriend. The girlfriend had a friend who thought Tjernagel was common and low class, as she based her opinion on his social demeanor. What was comical about this was that the friend was a high-dollar call girl. As the author muses, I guess not knowing which fork is for salad is so much further down the social scales than sleeping with some wrinkled, rich, old married guy. (Please note-I paraphrased the actual quotation and cleaned it up a trifle!)
Tjernagel quips: “that he has seen too many movies about loose foreign women abroad hoping to land a ticket to America. I get worried, but when I get a little tipsy with women around, sometimes my penis can be like a little kid who won’t stay in his room when the parents are having a party downstairs. The kid wants to come out and see if he is missing out on anything.”
According to Tjernagel: “comedians nowadays are a bunch of whining little bitches who will ruin a good time that the industry is meant to be. A stand-up comic’s only purpose is to be the ultimate drinking buddy, and to help people forget that the phone bill is due.” That just about sums up his slim book, however, one word of caution- just as Bruce’s comedy at one time was considered by some to be filthy and depraved, there are many today who certainly would express the same opinion of Tjernagel.