Saturday, September 29, 2007
Garrison Keillor: Coming up right after this message from
GK: ...hang on a second, we've got a phone call coming in(PICKUP) Hello? (MAN ON PHONE) It's for you.
Martin Sheen: For me? Who'd be calling me here? (FUMBLING WITH PHONE) Hello?
TR (BUSH): President Bartlett? It's George W. Bush. A.k.a. The Decider.
MS: Mr. President-what a surprise
TR (BUSH): Thanks for taking my call. Got a couple of questions that have been kind of festering hereif you don't mind
MS: What can I do for you, Mr. President?
TR (BUSH): Well, I don't know if you knew it but I'm starting to come toward the end of my tenure here.
MS: Yes, I've heard people mention that now and then.
TR (BUSH): Kinda feel like I'm sliding down the slippery slope into a pig wallow.
MS: What can I do to help?
TR (BUSH): Well, I'm thinking about my legacy. Damage control. You faced a lot of trials and tribulations as President of the United States. And you came out clean on the other side. Wanna know how you did that.
MS: Well, I was just an actor, playing the President on TV.
TR (BUSH): I know. Me too. That's why I'm calling you. Thought we could talk, mano-a-mano.
MS: Yes, but, you see, I was playing a role, reading lines my writers wrote for me.
TR (BUSH): Yeah, tell me about it. What do you think I'm doing? I got a writer and his name is Cheney. Just not so sure he wrote me a very good show. Wrote me a lot of lines like, " I will continue to articulate what I believe and I believe what I believe is true." I mean, what is that?
MS: I don't really know.
TR (BUSH): Not exactly "of the people, by the people, on the people."
TR (BUSH): Listen to this line: "People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you." I look at that line now and I say, "Why did I read that?"
MS: Well, maybe you need a new writer.
TR (BUSH): I'm getting to be more and more a jerk every episodeit's getting tiring.
MS: Where do you want your character to go?
TR (BUSH): Somewhere I don't have to talk a lot. I see myself as more of an outdoors guy, wearing a big hat.
MS: So Texas then.
TR (BUSH): Texas, right. A state that is dangerously overgrown with brush. I feel my character could really get in there and clear it out.
MS: Well, there are other roles you could audition for. Cowboy roles. Can you sing?
TR (BUSH): Heck yes. Been singing all my life. I like to sing while I work out. (SINGS)
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way
MS: You know, I could sort of see you as a kind of James Dean, like in "East of Eden" the son who doesn't quite fit in the misfit
TR (BUSH): What are you saying, Bartlett? You think I'm a misfit? Say, what if I got into romantic comedies? Always wanted to make a movie with Meg Ryan.
MS: I don't know, Mr. President I think people see you as more of a dramatic actor.
TR (BUSH): Thank you.
MS: I think you have a knack for tragedy.
TR (BUSH): People tell me that. I just don't see it. So what do other Presidents do when their terms are over? I gotta figure out something fast.
MS: You could write your memoirs
TR (BUSH): No thanks. I'm trying to forget most of that stuff.
MS: You could get to work on your presidential library.
TR (BUSH): I'm thinking more like a Presidential Fitness Center. Lotta treadmills and machines.
MS: That could work, too.
TR (BUSH): Well, I gotta get moving. Cheney just handed me a new episode. It's called "Divide and Conquer." So I gotta go run lines.
MS: Good luck with that.
TR (BUSH): Hey thanks for talking with me. Bartlett. See you around.
MS: Bye. (CLICK)
GK: The President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen