Abby Normal

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Ah! Very good. Would you mind telling me whose brain I DID put in?
Igor: Then you won’t be angry?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry.
Igor: Abby someone.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: [pause, then] Abby someone. Abby who?
Igor: Abby… Normal.
                     –  “Young Frankenstein,” (1974)

On August 30, 2016, the day after Gene Wilder died, the Washington Post published a tribute by cartoonist Tom Toles that shows Wilder, suitcase in hand, running up to St. Peter at Heaven’s Gate and exclaiming, “Tell him somebody put an abby normal brain into a presidential candidate!”  It was a heartful tribute to Wilder, as well as cunning political satire.  It was funny and easy to laugh at, since Hillary Clinton took a commanding lead in the polls just a week earlier and it seemed obvious she would trounce Trump in November and send him back to “The Apprentice.”  Then, lightning struck and the monster with the “abby normal” brain came to life and took up residence in the White House.


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