The best thing you can do with Twitter is use it to fire off one-liners seconds after a news event happens. We once had to wait until the next night’s talk show monologues or “Saturday Night Live’s” Weekend Update to get this kind of joke; now it’s there immediately.
Sunday night, as news spread that President Obama was going to make some kind of important announcement, and as word trickled out that it pertained to the death of Osama Bin Laden, snarkmeisters both professional and amateur took to the tweets to make with the ha-ha. The question of whether it’s ever appropriate to celebrate anyone’s death, even a mass murderer’s, is valid, and I will leave it for other people to talk about in other places. But I say if we can’t make jokes about the death of Osama Bin Laden, what can we make jokes about?
Here are the tweets that I saw Sunday night, in chronological order, that made me laugh. Note how they start out basic, making now-obvious connections, and then evolve as more news arrives. From a purely sociological standpoint, it’s fascinating. From a joke-writing standpoint, it is also fascinating.
@confessions123: Tea Party already denying the kill, demanding Osama’s longform death certificate.
@misterpatches: Yeah, but what about Carmen Sandiego?
@jerslater: Not to take all the credit, but I’ve been saying someone should kill bin Laden for like ten years now.
@BrianLynch: Cause of death: dynamite tied together to look like hot FEMALE terrorist.
@marklisanti: Let this serve as a lesson to future terrorists: When we finally kill you, we will mock your death with ten billion tweets. Not worth it.
@SmarmyJerkface: Man this was a REALLY long season of 24.
@Deadzero: President Obama doesn’t need to say a thing, he should just pull Bin Laden’s head out of a bag and throw it on a table.
@jennamgriffith: CIA just ousted Osama Bin Laden as mayor of Islamabad on @FourSquare
@jimmyfallon: Got Bin Laden AND interrupted Celebrity Apprentice? Win for Obama all around.
@ApocalypseHow: FOXNEWS REPORTS: Obama Administration Kills Homeless Religious Man with Kidney Disease
@natebargatze: It is pretty awkward in my cab right now
@irwinhandleman: President Obama is the worst Muslim sleeper agent I’ve ever seen
@ditzkoff: Weirdly, bin Laden also had a secretary named Hitler who warned him not to go to Pakistan that day.
@MattDentler: I hope the soldier that killed Bin Laden is an openly gay, Jewish woman.
@thesulk: I’m just glad it wasn’t the “there’s an asteroid we can’t stop” speech.
@nealbrennan: The Al-Queda guys are totally gonna have a Big Chill type weekend, I bet.
@astamate: I bet Osama will get the loudest applause during the “In Memoriam” portion of the Al Qaedies this year.
@MrBrandonMarcus: Bin Laden was killed while living in a huge mansion in Pakistan. Why does Obama hate rich people so much?!
@ThrashRuske: U.S terror alert upgraded to “Double Rainbow”.
@dontsitonart: Tonight was the night history was made, and a nation redefined the concept of Too Soon
@caissie: Whoa. That was huge. Guys, let’s not spoil it for the West Coast, though, okay?
@me_irl: Beloved character actor Osama bin Laden, star of TV’s “Fox News”, dies age 54