I'm late, as usual. I didn't actually see any clips of Laura Bush's hysterical performance at the correspondents' dinner until the last rerun of Monday's The Daily Show. So now I can honestly say: That was what people found so funny? Jeez Louise, for woman who wears her three-month stint as a librarian as a badge of honor, she can't even read!
I mean "read" in the performance sense, of course. We Midwesterners are not given to broad, unsupportable pronouncements of that sort. I should also add that in a half-century I've never heard a Hoosier make a horse dick joke, but maybe I just travel in the wrong circles. She read that thing like she was reading to a group of nine-year-olds.
I'd read the excerpts, of course, which is why I was expecting some sort of credible performance to explain the hoopla. And not to make too much of it. It's the WH Correspondents' dinner, so where it once was a chance for politicians to make self-deprecating speeches to the people who covered them, it's now a salute to our new Insect Overlords, and I suppose many of the Damned were so astonished to hear the president criticized, even in jest, that they imagined something extraordinary had taken place.
[It's just a thought, but wasn't that "wait-til-he-finds-out-he's-trying-to-milk-a-male" routine a toilet-paper commercial or something just long enough ago that using it now was a "where's the beef?" moment? Don't they have any jokewriters who didn't work for Eisenhower? Or did the edgier guy add the Desperate Housewives gag?]
Anyway, sometime Monday I got the idea to write a Discarded First Draft of the First Lady's routine. First I was gonna have them trying out various comedy personas on her, like the Bob Hope and the Bob Newhart, and finally the Carrot Top (or, as I like to call him, Rip Taylor without the good material). That one didn't quite work, and let me tell you, writing even bad copy for Steven Wright is damn near impossible. Then it occurred to me to leave George on stage and have them do a "Who's On First?" routine. That one I completed, but I forgot to add laughs. If only James Watt was still in the news it would have worked.
I was finally reduced to trying to find a picture of Howie Mandel with the blown-up glove on his head I could Photoshop over a picture of Laura. There's not as much Howie Mandel material on the internets as you might expect. The one I found was really small, and it took so much time I was falling asleep at it. As you probably would have, to.
In the end, you're stuck with filler. But, in a way, that's fitting, innit?