Washington D.C. (NIS)—Impersonator Rich Little’s presentation to the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner didn’t evoke any laughter at all, except for a few stifled chortles from Jon Stewart, who was seated at the very back of the ballroom. Here, from the White House correspondents own News Impersonation Service, are excerpts from that presentation:
Good evening, Mr. President, First Lady Laura, distinguished members of the administration, and honored guests. Wasn’t Mr. Bush great tonight! How about his take on Ronald Reagan—kidding us about doing eight more years! The audience’s laughter was so encouraging. If you think I’m a great impersonator of presidents, wait until you see the president mimic Andrew Johnson.
Members of the White House Press Association have asked me to go easy on the president. This is in keeping with their own policy during press conferences. I couldn’t agree more. We’d all like to forget that horrid scene at last year’s dinner when MoveOn spiked Stephen Colbert’s drink with truth serum. I was informed just tonight of that nefarious drugging incident: Jon Stewart told me when he came back from the bar with my last drink.
I assure you, I come to praise our president, not to bury him. Those approval polls really should be outlawed. Who can take them seriously? Only one person in four approves of the president’s performance? Impossible! I’m sure we’d get a ninety-nine percent approval rating right here in this room. The only holdout would be Bill O’Reilly, who’s just too professional to take sides.
Yes, this annual dinner is a much-needed event. No matter how much carnage we’re inflicting in the world, we can all show up here to laugh it off. I can’t thank the White House Press Corps enough—for paying me more money tonight than an average family of four makes in five years. What really impresses me, given your six and seven-figure incomes, is your resolve to report the truth on behalf of the country’s debt-ridden citizens. I also marvel at your daily struggle—against pressing deadlines—to get those government handouts properly punctuated and disseminated to the world. You go where few hacks would dare, infiltrating the Georgetown party circuit, pursuing vital information to suppress, unperturbed even when your reality-checks bounce.
Las Vegas, where I live, and Washington, D.C. have a lot in common: In both places, the people give us a lot of money for what they get. You know, I talk occasionally to homeless people in Las Vegas. Speaking of polls, I can’t help asking them if they’re better off now than they were four years ago. Not surprisingly, many say they are. That shows what compassionate conservatism has achieved among the bottom one percent. The ex-gamblers now on the street show quite a bit of emotional bonding with our president. I always thought people who took to the streets were more liberal. Anyway, if the homeless were included in the polling, the president’s ratings would soar to the moon where they belong.
I hear Texas Hold-Up is Washington’s favorite game, or at least it is in the War Strategy Room where finally . . . finally . . . players are allowed to bet the pot—as they should. I’ve been in town a few days and I went by the Annex at Walter Reed Hospital, hoping to pick up some funny stories from the boys back from Iraq. That’s a splendid facility, I have to tell you, for mice and roaches. The new paint job there is as fine a cover-up as I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know what’s come over me tonight, I feel a little giddy. Maybe it’s your stony expressions. I thought it was just Hollywood that O.D.’d on Botox. Hunter S. Thompson popped into a recent dream I had, cursing me out for never having impersonated him. He stuffed me into a cannon and said he’d shoot it off if I didn’t do him soon. I was scared, of course, and said I would. I plan to impersonate him next month at the Insurance Salespeople’s Convention in Naples, Florida.
I know the president forgot to mention New Orleans a few months ago in his State of the Union speech. Would it be helpful, sir, if I put a few words in your mouth? My intention, of course, is to impress everyone with the compassion you would have expressed if you hadn’t forgotten to do so. Okay, I’ll take that scowl to mean “no thanks.” It’s just my little request, sir, to be one of your speech-writers. I know how hard you try to impersonate George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan. I could help you keep those acts fresh and relevant, sir. We want to rest assured that you’ll never—never, for heaven’s sake—have to impersonate yourself. Goodnight now, and God save us.