Reagan was often accused by critics of not working very hard, and he responded with this characteristic jibe. We now know that the critics were wrong about his work ethic. Read through his diaries or look at the copies of his handwritten speeches and radio scripts, and you see that this was a man who worked very hard on communicating ideas.
And one of the things he worked hardest on was humor.
Reagan told jokes to people he met while searching for votes, and to foreign leaders. Sitting down with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at a summit meeting, he told a cutting joke: Two guys are standing in line waiting for vodka. Finally one grew impatient and says, “This is ridiculous. I’m going to go and kill Gorbachev.” He leaves and comes back 20 minutes later. “Did you do it?” his friend asks him. “No, he responds. That line was even longer than this line!”