27.12.06

I'm Gerald Ford... and you're not.

My favorite memory of President Ford? His total take-down of Chevy Chase:
May I say to Cary that I really enjoyed his performance as master of ceremonies. I liked his style, I liked the way he did it, but let me contrast it to a master of ceremonies of a program that I attended last night. It was the annual dinner of the Radio and Television Broadcasters Association in Washington, D.C., and I was one of the guests. And they had as their master of ceremonies a young star on television called Chevy Chase. I don't know how many of you know him, but he has moved up very, very rapidly in the television business. He has a show on Saturday nights at 11:30, and the principal theme of his performance is mimicking me. [Laughter]

And he struck on a responsive chord a few months ago when there were some comments concerning my alleged clumsiness, and he has made a pretty good profession out of it. [Laughter] But, anyhow, last night, when he was introduced, there was a big audience in Washington, D.C., and he makes his entry down a center aisle and he stumbles all over as he finally gets up to the rostrum here, and he falls and, well, it goes on for about 5 minutes or more--it seemed like an hour. [Laughter]

But we were prepared for him. And if I may take a minute, we had some suspicion that he might do just this. So, we had a false tablecloth sitting where I Was sitting, and he was on the other side during the evening meal, and we had two of those big coffee urns filled with silver--knives, forks, and spoons--and as I got up following his very complimentary introduction, I pulled the tablecloth and all this fell down and made a lot of clatter and made a big hullabaloo.

And then I came to the podium and I had my speech book, and I had it on top with about 40 or 50 pages, and I put my speech book down like this, and I put the other things up like this, and then they all went down like that. [Laughter] I hope I did not throw away your notes.

And then I turned to Chevy Chase and said, "Chevy, you are a very, very, very funny suburb." And I concluded with saying, "I'm Gerald Ford and you're not." [Laughter]
R.I.P, Mr. President

(ps - if anyone can find video of this... I've tried, but it just ain't around!)

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