November 15, 2010

Presidents in showbiz

The big rumor today—both entirely plausible and totally absurd—is that former President Bill Clinton, while on a trip to Thailand (!), filmed a cameo appearance for the forthcoming The Hangover Part II. It prompted me to post the following witticism to the BQT Twitter feed: "President Clinton to cameo in The Hangover 2. Reminds me of when Grover Cleveland played Handkerchief Holder #3 in Fred Ott's Sneeze." Obscure, yeah, but it's my damn tweet.

But then I got to think a little more about this—a former President showing up in a testoster-raunch comedy film? What kind of real precedent to we have for this? I began to formulate a full blog post, but Salon.com has beaten me to it, with a great item about Presidents (and VPs, and First Ladies) who've embraced showbiz post–White House. I had no idea about Ronald Reagan's All-Star Game adventure; I wish they had audio of that, but it seems to have evaded the Interwebs.

And I'm amazed that there's no video of George Bush the Elder smacking down Dana Carvey. I've seen it on TV several times, and its apparent absence on YouTube is stunning. Instead, try this: Carvey's memories of meeting the real Bush, back when he was funny ("he" being Carvey, not Bush—though I guess Bush applies too).


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