Ky. lawmaker: Comedy Central show that mocked him was 'very funny'

raretakis@herald-leader.comAugust 1, 2013 

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, appeared in a segment of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart on Wednesday night.

HULU.COM

Being ridiculed on national television isn't so bad, state Sen. Damon Thayer said Thursday afternoon, more than 12 hours after he willingly starred in a mocking episode of The Daily Show.

Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he thinks it's important not to take himself too seriously, which is why he agreed to be featured in a segment titled "Can't Touch This" Wednesday night on Comedy Central's late-night satirical show.

Comedian Jason Jones challenged Thayer on state legislation that he introduced earlier this year that attempted to nullify any new federal gun laws. The measure cleared the Republican-controlled Senate but died in the Democrat-controlled House.

"The left-wing liberals in Washington D.C. think that they know what's best," Thayer told Jones on the show. "They hate guns. They hate law-abiding citizens who want to buy guns. We fear that there will be federal gun laws that actually take away what we believe is our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms."

Jones responded: "Other than that premise being completely false, what kind of message did you send to those gun-grabbers in D.C.?"

Thayer said he takes his work seriously, but the show gave him the chance to express his views while having fun.

"The interview itself was good; the questions were tough," he said. "They obviously were trying to head a certain direction with the show. I was actually pretty pleased with the results."

Thayer said he wished the show would have included his explanation of why he thinks the Tenth Amendment would allow for such a state law.

"But the show wouldn't have been as funny if they would have stuck to the ... policy-wonk explanation that I gave out," he said.

The show also featured LaRue County Judge Executive Tommy Turner, who pushed a county ordinance that sought to nullify Thayer's nullification bill in the county.

"We feel that nullification is something that can't be done, but if it can be done, we're going to do it," Turner explained to a confused-looking Jones.

On Thursday, Turner said he doesn't regret doing the show, which he described as a valuable learning experience.

"I anticipated that things would be somewhat different when they aired it from the actual interview," Turner said.

Jones also interviewed bar patrons in Lexington about laws they would like to see nullified.

Sitting in the Chevy Chase Inn, George Dickson of Lexington mentioned the state's DUI laws, which require drivers to have a blood-alcohol content of less than .08.

"One time I blew a .22, and I was still pretty darn lucid," he said.

"I employed a little poetic license," Dickson said Thursday of the interview. "But I do have experience drinking."

Even though the show played up Kentucky stereotypes, Thayer said he doesn't think it portrayed Kentucky in a bad light.

"People are going to believe stereotypes no matter what," Thayer said. "I thought the whole segment was very funny, and you have to remember that it is not a news show; it is a comedy show."

Rachel Aretakis: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @heraldleader.

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