Saturday, April 21, 2007

Rich Little to perform at the White House Correspondents Association's dinner

It was a year ago that the world beheld the landmark performance of Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. Standing only a few feet from the American Butcher in Chief, Colbert's genius was on full display, ranking in my opinion right up there with Jonthan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" and Lenny Bruce's "Christ and Moses." His comments were among the most piercing, hilarious and honest remarks made about BushCo. Later, however, the very media honoring itself that night proved once more its relevance to the public by almost uniformly declaring Colbert's exceedingly funny performance "not funny." Some went so far as to say that Colbert "bombed" -- doubtless an unintentional pun giving W.'s bewildered proximity to the happenings.

The reaction of the press reminds me of a scene from the second season of All in the Family during a flashback to Mike and Gloria's wedding preparations. Bigot Archie Bunker meets Mike's Uncle Kasimir, a huge, strapping man who was once a marine, but became a florist upon returing to civilian life after WWII. Archie does not like Uncle Kas on first sight and says, "Yeah, well we used to think the marines were pretty funny." To which Uncle Kas responds, "Yeah? Well, we used to think the Air Corps. was funny." Archie's face clouds: "I was in the Air Corps. What the hell's funny about the Air Corps.?"

And that was precisely the response of the press to Colbert's brilliant performance. But at least the press was consistent, treating Colbert's remarks with all of the blind-eyed superficiality it has treated the increasingly suspicious 9/11 attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Short shrift is the new journalistic mantra in North America. Lowering debate to the level of irrelevance is the only function these makers of birdcage liners serve.

Well, old Steve Scully, president of the White house Correspondents Association -- unlike the Bush administration -- refuses to make the same mistake twice. This year he has booked legendary comic Rich Little to perform at the dinner. Scully's first choice for the evening was Bob Hope, but Hope's tour of Hell has been such a raging success, he was simply unavailable for the engagement -- there are more former U.S. presidents on his current tour than on earth.
Rich Little says: "I don't know why I was invited [to perform at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner], perhaps they wanted a different type of comedian this year.... But I did the dinner in 1984 when Reagan was president. I loved him, he was the best audience in the world."

"For Steve Scully of C-Span,. the president of the White house Correspondents Association, this is a game where you can neither win nor lose, no matter what you do. He chose Little this year and had a hand in picking Colbert last year."

"'I picked Rich Little because I think he is funny,' Scully said in an interview..."
And no one knows funny like Steve Scully, voted in his high school year book as Most Likely to Marry a Rubber Chicken. The hilarious part? He actually did!


Robert Earl Stewart said...

Rich Little. They went the direction of safe, long past-due milk. If they really wanted to crack'em up, they should've hired that jackass with the piano and straw boater--at leat he's an American. Do you think Scully is aware Rich Little is a foreigner, born in that seat of parlaimentary hoodoo, Ottawa?

Bijoy said...

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Warm Regards

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