"The ORIGINAL Politics-Pro Wrestling Connection!!!"
ISSUE 31: What, ALREADY?!?
COMING SOON on FOX: THE KAREN CARPENTER STORY--THE LATER YEARS. Starring Ally McBeal's CALISTA FLOCKHART.
NOW IT CAN BE TOLD: WIT MEMO'S FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK ON THE COMPETITION!
WE thought that most of the humorous takes on the politics/pro wrestling connection -the emails, the top ten lists, the bits on National Journal's HOTLINE- had been pretty much done to death in the weeks following ex-grappler JESSE "THE BODY" VENTURA's startling upset win in the Minnesota governor's race, but we were wrong. And after a recent Post piece on the same, and a fresh forwarded email advertising a spoof "Too Hot For C-SPAN" wrestling video featuring prominent Congressmen, we could remain silent no longer.
You see, FACT IS, the first and last word on the politics/pro wrestling connection was definitively done by WIT MEMO, some 16 years ago!
The year was 1982 - a hectic, dizzying time of Voodoo economics, flower power, and rich Corinthian leather, before cable, before CSPAN and MSNBC, before CHRISTIAN SLATER stunned the filmgoing public with "KUFFS," and before Jeffrey Sacks finally forgot where he was when he heard that PRESIDENT KENNEDY was shot and changed his name for four out of the seven legal purposes to WIT MEMO, and his tense from first person to plural. Back then, we were trying to get something done in the loony-by-definition, nutbar-by-association world of PUBLIC ACCESS television. A promo interview for an upcoming debate, "CONGRESSIONAL WRESTLING" debuted on Arlington public access TV Channel 33 in early 1982, was written up in U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORTS, and saw brief exposure on gen-yoo-wine DC area TV Channel 54 in 1984 as part of the too-good-for-public-access "WATCH OUT ARLINGTON," which was favorably reviewed by premier TV critic TOM SHALES in the WASHINGTON POST. We never DREAMED this skit would become oh-so apropos at the fin-de-siecle, but now that this moment is here, we're not about to not milk it for all it's worth, or let this prime opportunity to recycle old material slip through our fingers. WE WERE THE FIRST AND THE ORIGINAL ... BEWARE OF IMITATIONS! What follows below is the hoary old long-white beard article, with all the no-longer-relevant references untouched:
ANNOUNCER (VINCE): Hello everyone, and welcome to CONGRESSIONAL WRESTLING. You'll want to be on hand Saturday night in the air-conditioned Capitol Building as Democrats and Republicans go at it in a no-holds-barred battle royale over the 1982 House and Senate Under Armed Services appropriations bill. It'll be non-stop topsy turvy action in this traditional grudge match as the two forces square off against each other on the house floor in this fight to a positive finish. We've got a fine card of matches lined up for you that night folks, but we know that all you fans of the squared circle will be looking forward to the main event, where we'll see MORRIS "THE HULK" ROSENBLOOM OF NEW YORK, who puts his heavyweight title nine on the line in an agonizing Texas Death Sentence Committee Match. Rosenbloom is undefeated in one on one debate, and he can ram bills through committee and slap a crushing rider on any measure that comes his way. He is also the master of the devastating full Nelson Rockefeller hold, that can choke off debate on just about any subject under the sun. BUT HE SHOULD HAVE HIS HANDS FULL THAT NIGHT as he goes up against none other than the MASKED HOUSE MINORITY LEADER, also known as THE WHIP. The Whip is known for his dirty tactics, and you can bet that he'll be padding his expense accounts and concealing cost overruns every time the Speaker's head is turned. And now, my guest is none other than the Masked House Minority Leader, also known as the Whip. Mr. Whip, would you mind telling the fans. . .
THE WHIP (enters): Outta my way, punk. . . Now you listen here, Hulk Rosenbloom, and you listen good. Yeah, I heard about how you shot down that B-1 Bomber package, and about all those vetoes you overrode, but I'm not scared. I killed three bills in committee last month, and come next Saturday night in the Capitol building I'm gonna slash your budget to ribbons. I'll hit you with so many motions you won't know your left wing from your right wing, and then I'll move for adjournment. You're yellow, Hulk Rosenbloom, you're yellow, but you'll be black and blue when I get through with you. You better say your school prayers, 'cause Saturday night, when that bell sounds, I'm coming at you with both pork barrels blazing. (exits)
VINCE: Thank you. Notwithstanding that, our next guest is none other than his opponent, Senator Morris "The Hulk" Rosenbloom of New York. Senator, your comments please.
HULK (enters): Vince, we all know that the Whip is a dirty fighter. He's always speaking out of turn, and last session he rubbed SALT talks in his opponent's eyes. Now, I've been in committee with the Whip before, and I know that he can force spending rollbacks any day of the week, but he's been coming on TV and telling the fans out there that I'm scared. Well let me tell you, Whip, you're the one that ought to be scared. I'm the master of the dreaded filibuster sleeper hold, the most feared hold in all of government. Last session I went twenty-seven hours with the filibuster; I put twenty-seven Senators to sleep, and by the time I got done that bill they were pushing was as dead as you're gonna be when I get through with you, Whip. I'm gonna smash your platform into splinter groups. I'm gonna kick you right in the bible belt, and then I'll slap a rider on you that'll have you screaming for a recess. You say I'm scared, Whip? Why don't you tell the fans out there about all those roll call votes you missed 'cause you knew you didn't have a chance? Why don't you-
WHIP (re-entering): Why don't you relinquish the floor?
VINCE: Gentlemen, please! Well, that's it folks. Saturday night, eight o'clock . . . don't you dare miss it . . . BE THERE!!! (Much scuffling and chaos).
QUICK LOOK AT TV: NYPD BLUE & THE RETURN OF SMILER GROGAN
Could WIT MEMO have been the ONLY ONE who thought JIMMY SMITS' forever-and-a-day death scene as Detective Bobby Simone on that extra-long episode of NYPD BLUE two weeks ago was just too much? Don't get me wrong -- over the years, we've been known to look at NYPD BLUE whenever USA's "TUESDAY NIGHT FIGHTS" wasn't happenin', and we never knew we'd so love a cop show where instead of solving crimes through good old-fashioned, police work like Joe Friday -running down leads, contemplating clues, that sort of thing- the detectives mostly shout, intimidate, and beat confessions out of suspects.
But that death scene was positively insulting ... what with something like three false dramatic codas where we were suckered into thinking he'd finally died, that we'd just witnessed his death RIGHT THERE, it recalled nothing so much as JIMMY DURANTE's brilliant turn as Smiler Grogan at the beginning of "IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD," when he kept popping back to life to gasp out the secret of the buried treasure, scaring the hell out of BUDDY HACKETT. But THEY were making us laugh, not the other way around, whereas when Smits/Simone opened his eyes that last time and smiled serenely at the camera, it was like he was having a good chuckle at our expense.
ON THE OTHER HAND, the funniest movie ad now running on the tube HAS to be the one for the TOM HANKS/MEG RYAN e-mail comedy "YOU'VE GOT MAIL" . . . the ad's "that caviar is a garnish!" clip has just had us in STITCHES!
NEXT TIME: A look at CHANUKKAH, THE JEWISH XMAS and THAT CAVIAR IS A GARNISH!
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