Laura Bush's Joke Writer

I'm surprised people are still talking about Laura Bush's jokes at the press dinner last weekend. Do people actually think she wrote them herself? Or that her interruption of her husband wasn't scripted?

She practiced those lines for days, coached by jokewriter Landon Parvin, who scripted them. Parvin used to write Ronald and Nancy Reagan's jokes, and George Bush Sr,s and Arnold Schwarzenegger's.

According to the first lady's press secretary, Susan Whitson:

Parvin sat down with the first lady some weeks ago to work out ideas, Whitson said. He then wrote a script and helped Bush with her timing and delivery over several days of rehearsals.

Does anyone really believe she's ever seen Desperate Housewives? She hasn't.

Susan Whitson....said that Mrs. Bush had never actually seen the racy ABC hit show. Ms. Whitson said the first lady had heard about the characters and plot from the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara, who are fans, and was planning to watch the entire first season on a DVD she has at home.

Parvin's trademark is self-deprecating humor. He says it makes politicians more likable. It's all very calculated.

Mr. Parvin wrote the lyrics to "Secondhand Clothes," the song-and-dance routine that Nancy Reagan performed to the tune of "Secondhand Rose" at the 1982 Gridiron dinner in Washington.

That performance, which lampooned the first lady's taste in designers, was a hit after a string of public relations disasters, from Mrs. Reagan's supervision of the purchase of a $200,000 set of White House china to the trunkloads of dresses she took for a week of partying at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana. Press coverage of Mrs. Reagan was subsequently more positive, and "Secondhand Clothes" is still cited as a reason.

Even Parvin bombs sometimes, like when he wrote the disasterous joke for Bush a few years ago that had him looking under the desk for WMD's.

On a related note of disasterous Bush comments, remember the Bush twins' awful speech at the Republican convention? Turns out it was Karen Hughes who scripted that one.

The [Laura Bush]performance earned a standing ovation, which probably made presidential communications guru Karen Hughes blush with envy. Hughes was behind the Bush twins' off-color GOP convention speech last summer, which bombed.

The jokes don't give any insights into the Bush's. I'm amazed to read that people actually think the Bush's were sharing a bit of their intimate lives or letting their hair down. It was an act, folks, that's all. Rehearsed and scripted entertainment, right down to the number of seconds to pause between jokes. Nothing more.

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    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:43 PM EST
    Either you're with us or against us. Where have I heard that? I can't remember. One thing about politicians, they make it sound like they're always with you, when, in reality, they're always against you. Mrs. Bush's jokes were absurd and tasteless. I couldn't for the life of me believe what I was hearing when I heard what she was saying. Now, it all makes sense. I have tuned it all out anymore. What has been done to the American citizenry by the American government is now criminal. The American government has destroyed a sovereign nation under the guise of incontrovertable evidence from concocted information. I can't ignore them though. They just won't go away, as much as I would like them to. I don't know what can be done. It doesn't really matter anymore. enough

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#3)
    by Rich on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:44 PM EST
    More to the point, the Bush's attempts to be funny often get really creepy. Laura's lines obviously were scripted, but they were so inappropriate even for a roast, you have to wonder she was thinking in accepting them. The jokes may not be "true", but her willingness to use them (horse masturbation, mother-in-law as terror--at least that's real) telegraphs some disturbing information about her & her spouse--I don't know many people who "whoop it up" over animal masturbation or public humiliation of their sex lives. The cum stained dress seemed less inappropriate than this stuff.

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mreddieb on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:46 PM EST
    No matter who wrote the stuff it's still Hers and she owns it! If a speech writer wrote "My husband is a baby killer and a Liar but I still love him!" for her to say I doubt she would have ever uttered those funy or not words. This episode just exposed a salacious side of this phoney tag team they pretend they don't have. I cannot believe Laura was oblivious to the reprecussions of her words. Yet she arrogantly went ahead. This is the Bushbag trademark isn't it?

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#5)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:47 PM EST
    She was funny but not as funny as her husband was a year ago when he did that bit about looking for the missing WMDs. Now that was real killer material. I heard that over 1500 of our servicemen in Iraq died laughing.

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:57:57 PM EST
    Blaghdaddy was wondering the same thing about Mrs. Dubya...his take on it nearly a week ago... This whole thing with being famous for being famous (what the hell has Laura done besides the obvious- breed for the Emperor, to merit one tenth of the adoration heaped upon her?) is becoming as nauseating as its poster girl- Paris Hilton...

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#6)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    Paper dolls.

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#7)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    I can hear it now! Laura joking about the camp system and how many ovens are in one camp? Line...as many as it takes. she is so funny.

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    TL, Thanks for writing about this. The minute I saw footage of her act, it was obvious she was doing someone else's material, in a very stiff manner, to an audience of kiss-ass MSJ, who were as easy a crowd for comedy as exists on the planet, provided you're doing the kind of safe jokes she was. And yet she gets credit for now being funny, or some kind of personality we heretofore were unaware of. BS. She's just another puppet performing, and not that well, a script written by some sycophant looking to ingratiate their own unfunny self. Her set made an episode of "Mama's Family" seem the pinnacle of humor.

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:49 PM EST
    "The American government" Or facsimile thereof, AD (After Diebold). " has destroyed a sovereign nation" Which is genocide, under the genocide convention: "genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: • (a) Killing members of the group; • (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; • (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; "under the guise of incontrovertable evidence from concocted information." You mean Bush's social security lies? Yeah, it's disgusting. I always knew Bush was a handjob, but little did I suspect his wife was pimping stallions for him.

    Re: Laura Bush's Joke Writer (none / 0) (#11)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:51 PM EST
    LB didn’t write her own speech; say it isn’t so. Well folks, as it turns out this is quite common. I know, I know; shocking. Margaret Warner scoops TL and ferrets out former president Bill Clinton State of the Union speechwriters. Again, I know; what is the world coming to when SOTUs and Press Corps’ goofs alike are farmed out?