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WHITE SMOKE ABOVE THE POTOMAC! DC's newly-crowned Funny Celeb chronicles House dating woes: // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2006

WHITE SMOKE ABOVE THE POTOMAC: Washington has a new “Funniest Celebrity”—Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA). The raffish rep won the crown at the DC Improv last night, in the annual charity contest which benefits Bread for the City.

Sanchez conquered the crowd with a string of laments about congressional dating woes. Last summer, Sanchez confided, she sympathized with the U.S. World Cup soccer team. She said that could relate to the fact that they’d only scored twice in four years.

Clarence Page was a superlative host—just as we had predicted. And our pal Brett Leake was guest comedian, attracting a good deal of notice. (Five Tonight Show appearances. Click here.) Meanwhile, the contestants were unusually good this year. How strong was the field? If we had a vote, we’d likely have gone for fourth-place finisher Grover Norquist, who boasted that Ken Mehlman has already let him see the results of this fall’s elections. “I’m allowed to tell you—we win,” Grover quipped. “In fairness to the Democrats, you come close.”

But let’s face it—the evening’s buzz was provided by second-place finishers Dennis Kucinich and Ed Gillespie, who performed a tandem ventriloquist act. (A parody of Crossfire.) We had seen Dennis perform before—but who knew that Gillespie was such a ventriloquist? “But then again,” we incomparably quipped, when we took the stage to thank the contestants, “when he was chair of the RNC, we often thought we saw Ed’s words coming from the mouths of big journalists.”

Let’s say it. That’s professional joke-writing!

George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth were nice enough to throw out the first joke. For ourselves, we’d thought of George when we watched Fox News Sunday this week. President Clinton hadn’t been that mad since 1999, when he first read George’s book.

And yes, C-SPAN was there to record all the fun! If they’re desperate enough for weekend programming, you’ll be able to watch the show there.

DARN IT: We thought of a much better George Allen joke on the way home in the car.

WHILE WE’RE AT IT: Jeff Caldwell makes his Letterman debut Friday night. The program was taped on Monday. Click here.

TOMORROW: Clinton does Fox.