Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bomb, bomb, bomb... bomb, bomb Iran!

Although it did seem for a moment that John McCain decided to tear a page out of the John Kerry political comedy play book this past week, but as off-key as the "Bomb Iran" faux comedy incident was, it did remind me that McCain wasn't being original, and that the "Bomb Iran" parody dates at least from the 1980's.

Sometime back in the mid-1980's I was in Washington, D.C. for a weekend and was staying at the Watergate Hotel and happened to turn on the TV late Saturday night and catch part of Saturday Night Live. They were doing a skit which was a parody of the ubiquitous TV ads for "Greatest Hits" records.

Believe it or not, they had former presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy (1968), dressed up in a general's uniform and he was calling out the "hits" of the imaginary mock record, one of which was "Bomb Iran." The sing-over of the lyric fragment "Bomb, bomb, bomb... Bomb, bomb Iran!" was to the tune of the Beach Boys "Barbara Ann", except it was done very well and came across hysterically funny. You have to remember, that this was in the depths of the Reagan presidency. As far as McCain, I guess this incident simply illustrates that some people simply don't know how to tell a joke.

There were two other "hits" that I recall from the skit.

The conflict between Ronald Reagan's chief of staff,  Don Regan, and Nancy Reagan was the inspiration for the mock hit entitled "Help Me, Ronnie" which parodied the Beach Boys hit "Help Me, Rhonda", but with the lyrics changed from:

Help me Rhonda
Help, help me Rhonda
Help me Rhonda yeah
Get her out of my heart


Help me Ronnie
Help, help me Ronnie
Help me Ronnie please
Get her off of my back

The other mock hit was a parody of the Cyndi Lauper hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" mocking the Reagan administration's support for the Nicaraguan Contras (of Iran-Contra scandal fame), and was entitled "Guerillas Just Want to Have Guns."

I thoroughly enjoyed all three parodies. There may have been others, but I don't recall. [A lot of people around that time had fuzzy memories!]

Political humor is greatly valued in America and alive and well, but presidential candidates should stick to their political knitting and leave the comedy to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, et al.

Unfortunately, this SNL skit predated the Internet, so I am unable to find any reference to it.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 2:50 PM , Blogger merben said...

Sen. John McCain's insensitive comments will probably help him slide further on the recent election 2008 polls. He offended a lot of people with the McCain bomb Iran song. The media and his opponents will use his joke against his campaign.


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