“For all of those in the disaster zone that are lucky enough to still have electricity…” said Governor Chris Christie, during an appearance on Saturday Night Live (SNL). “Live from New York, it's Saturday night!”
No one laughed. It was completely silent except for the sound of a single cough coming from somewhere in the studio audience.
“What?” quipped Gov. Christie. “Too soon?”
Again, silence. And the single cough.
“Wow,” said Gov. Christie as beads of perspiration gathered on his forehead. “Tough crowd.”
Gov. Christie looked over to Lorne Michaels, the comedy TV show’s creator and executive producer, for moral support.
Lorne gave the governor the okay hand sign. Saying to him, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll add a laugh track to it later.”
Gov. Christie continued.
“I see we have a full house tonight,” said Gov. Christie obviously reading from a teleprompter. “What? Is it raining outside?”
Gov. Christie looked up from the teleprompter with a smile on his face.
“Hey that’s kinda funny,” he said. “Get it? Raining outside? You know because of hurricane Sandy and all?”
Again, Gov. Christie’s monologue was greeted with silence broken only by the coughing audience member.
“Maybe we should’ve added the word: again? You know like is it raining outside…again?” said Gov. Christie looking over to Lorne. But he just shrugged his shoulders in response.
The person in the audience continued to cough but now louder.
“Who keeps coughing out there,” asked the governor as stepped off the stage and into the studio audience. “Come on now. Stand up.”
A woman hesitantly stood up. She wore a T-shirt that read: I ♥ Staten Island.
Gov. Christie walked up to he woman and gave her a hug, telling her: “You know. You should get that looked at. With all the mildew and mold in the disaster area, you could get really sick.”
Slowly, one by one, members of the studio audience began to clap their hands, coming to a standing ovation for the governor.
With his arms raised in the air, Gov. Christie returned to the stage to continue his monologue like a champion boxer after nearly receiving the full count.
“Oh, here’s one I know you’ll like,” said Gov. Christie now reading from his hand. “What did the palm tree say to the other one when they saw hurricane Sandy coming their way? Better to hold on to your coconuts. Looks like we’re in for quite a blow job.”
With that, the audience busted into laughter except for the woman with the nasty cough. She just continued to cough.
Among the din of laughter Gov. Christie looked out to her and lipped: “Are you alright? Or do you need another hug?”
While still coughing, the woman shook her head no and gave the governor the thumbs up sign indicating she was okay.