Video of Obama's Comedy Roast
Video of McCain's Comedy Roast
Transcript of McCain's Comedy Roast
Following is the transcript of John McCain's comedy routine at the Al Smith Dinner in New York, Oct. 16, 2008
Thank you so much.
Thank you to Al and to Ann, to Your Eminence, to Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg, to Senator and Mrs. McCain, to my wonderful colleagues, Senators Clinton and Schumer, to all the distinguished guests. There is no other crowd in America that I'd rather be palling around with right now.
I'm sorry he couldn't be here. I do send regards to my running mate, Joe Biden, or as Senator McCain noted, he now actually likes to be called Joe the Senator. I was thrilled to get this invitation and I feel right at home here because it's often been said that I share the politics of Alfred E. Smith and the ears of Alfred E. Neumann.
But I have to say tonight's venue isn't really what I'm used to. I was originally told we'd be able to move this outdoors to Yankee Stadium, and -- can somebody tell me what happened to the Greek Columns that I requested?
I do love the Waldorf-Astoria, though. You know, I hear that from the doorstep you can see all the way to the Russian tea room. It is an honor to be here with Al Smith. I obviously never knew your great grandfather, but from everything that Senator McCain has told me, the two of them had a great time together before Prohibition. So -- wonderful stories.
The mayor of this great city, Michael Bloomberg, is here. The mayor recently announced some news -- made some news by announcing he's going to be rewriting the rules and running for a third term, which caused Bill Clinton to say, you can do that?
The president's better half, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, is here. Glad to see you made it, Hillary. I'm glad to see that you made it because I heard Chuck Schumer actually tried to tell you that we really did move this event to Yankee Stadium.
But I'll tell you all from personal experience, Hillary Clinton is one of the toughest and most formidable presidential candidates in history. She's broken barriers. She's inspired millions. She is the -- she is the primary reason I have all this gray in my hair now. I am also glad to see that Senator Schumer is here, and I see that he's brought some of his loved ones. Those would be the folks with the cameras and the notebooks in the back of the room.
Of course, I am especially honored to be here tonight with my distinguished opponent, Senator John McCain. I think it is a tribute to American democracy that with two weeks left in a hard-fought election, the two of us could come together and sit down at the same dinner table without preconditions.
Recently, one of John's top advisers told the "Daily News" that if we keep talking about the economy, McCain's going to lose. So, tonight I'd like to talk about the economy.
Given all that's happened these past few weeks on Wall Street, it feels like an odd time to be dressed up in white tie, but I must say I got a great deal, rented the whole outfit from the treasury department at a very good price.
Looking around tonight at all the gourmet food and champagne, it's clear that no expenses were spared. It's like an executive sale meeting at AIG.
But I don't need to tell any of you that it's been a scary time on the stock market, with people losing their investments, their entire fortunes. It's gotten so bad Bloomberg now has to take the subway. And while the collapse of the housing market's been tough on every single home owner, I think we all need to recognize that this crisis has been eight times harder on John McCain.
You know, we've been debating a lot these economic issues over the course of the campaign, but lately things have been getting a bit tougher. In the last few weeks, John's been out on the campaign trail and asked the question, who is Barack Obama? I have to admit I was a little surprised by this question. The answer is right there on my Facebook page.
But, look, I don't want to be coy about this. We're a couple weeks from an important election.
Americans have a big choice to make, and if anybody feels like they don't know me by now, let me try to give you some answers. Who is Barack Obama?
Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger.
I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jorel to save the Planet Earth.
Many of you -- many of you know that I got my name, Barack, from my father. What you may not know is Barack is actually Swahili for "That One."
And I got my middle name from somebody who obviously didn't think I'd ever run for president.
If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility.
Greatest weakness, it's possible that I'm a little too awesome. One other thing, I have never, not once, put lipstick on a pig or a pit bull or myself. Rudy Giuliani, that's one for you. I mean, who would have thought that a cross-dressing mayor from New York City would have a tough time running the Republican nomination? It's shocking.
That was a tough primary you had there, John. Anyway. Anyway, that's who I really am. But in the spirit of full disclosure, there are a few October surprises you'll be finding out about in the coming weeks. First of all, my middle name is not what you think. It's actually Steve. That's right. Barack Steve Obama.
Here's another revelation, John McCain is on to something. There was a point in my life when I started palling around with a pretty ugly crowd. I've got to be honest, these guys were serious dead beats. They were low lifes, unrepentant, no-good punks.
That's right. I've been a member of the United States Senate.
Come to think of it, John, I swear I saw you at one of our meetings.
But I know Senator McCain agrees that some of the rumors out there are getting a bit crazy. I mean, Rupert the other day, Fox News actually accused me of fathering two African-American children in wedlock.