Can you sense something different in the air? What is it? It’s a sense of humor, something which has become an endangered species in America recently.

As Ed noted earlier, Charles Barkley went way off script and (with an assist from Shaq) poked some hilarious fun at Jussie Smollett. On its own, that would have been a breath of fresh air but it turns out the Daily Show actually did a spoof and it’s genuinely funny. I’ve watched this three times and it makes me laugh every time. I’m not sure what my favorite part is. It’s a close call between the explanation of the bleach and the refrain “And gay!” uttered by the same character. I don’t know who the actor is (I don’t watch the Daily Show) but he’s hilarious.

I don’t want to get too carried away, but having a few media figures who are black sort of lead the nation in laughing over this seems like a pretty significant thing after the past couple weeks. This hoax was an attempt to tear the nation apart in the ugliest way possible. And there were lots of people who seized on the story eager to use it for that purpose. Laughing at this is probably the best way to heal some of the bad feelings it has generated. At least for a few moments, the laughter puts us all back on the same side.

Anyway, enjoy this brief respite. Next week it’s back to taking everything with utmost seriousness and being deeply hurt and offended by every joke.