WASHINGTON – Thousands of Celebrity Millennium passengers on a cruise to Alaska got an unexpected entertainment treat last week when WND columnist and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Victoria Jackson performed a comedy routine in the ship’s main theater and an even bigger surprise when she was joined in the middle of her set by fellow WND columnist, former presidential candidate Ambassador Alan Keyes, who sang “Over the Rainbow.”
The entire act was recorded by Celebrity – with this exclusive clip offered to WND, since both performers were participants in WND’s “Tea Party at Sea” contingent, which also included Joseph and Elizabeth Farah, David Kupelian, Jerome Corsi, Aaron Klein, Alaskan U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller, Floyd Brown and others.
The idea for the Keyes performance came even before the ship set sail, as the Farahs, Victoria Jackson and her husband, Paul Wessel, Alan and Jocelyn Keyes and a handful of others were seated in a small lounge waiting for their staterooms to be readied. With Jackson and Wessel playing the piano and doing shtick to kill time, someone asked Keyes what his best song was.
“Over the Rainbow,” he answered.
Victoria Jackson (center) and Alan and Jocelyn Keyes on WND cruise.
“That’s one of only five songs I can actually play,” clowned Jackson.
“I nudged my husband,” Jackson recounted later. “He plays wonderful piano – but he’s very shy. He scolded me: ‘Be quiet.’ So I plunked my way through it on the white, grand piano and Alan acquiesced. What a spontaneous moment we had. I love serendipity.”
Several days later, when Jackson played the big room in a theater open to the entire ship, Keyes reprised his impromptu number for a crowd that included many who weren’t even sure if this was really the man who ran for president in 2000 and 2008 and who opposed Barack Obama for his U.S. Senate bid in Illinois in 2004.
“Alan Keyes was a great sport and went along with it,” said Jackson. “The audience was surprised. Some thought he was a look-alike. Yep. Christian conservatives can have fun, too. Now if we could just go on the road together.”
“I don’t know what gave me greater pleasure: sharing music with an audience again after so many years, or celebrating the friendship Jocelyn and I enjoy with Paul and Vickie, the smartest ‘dumb blonde’ on the planet and her true blue spouse,” added Keyes.
It’s not the first time Keyes has mixed politics with music. He shocked many in his campaign against Obama in 2004 when he broke out in song.
For Jackson, it was a treat performing with one of her political heroes.
“The first time I met Alan Keyes was in the late ’90s on Bill Mahr’s show ‘Politically Incorrect,’” she recalls. “I had never heard of him. My husband, the political science major who has watched Fox News religiously since day one, elbowed me and said, ‘That guy should be president.’ Years later, I saw Keyes on YouTube confirming my suspicion that Obama was a communist. Yay! Now, two of us used the ‘c’ word!”
Jackson’s most famous song, performed while playing the ukulele, is called “There’s a Communist in the White House.” She updated the song recently with the help of WND’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Aaron Klein:
“So we were big fans of Alan Keyes and when we got to sit at his table on the WND cruise to Alaska we were excited,” said Jackson. “Keyes cannot answer a question in less than 20 minutes. He pontificates. He even waxes poetic and, one time, I felt like God was speaking through him. It was other-worldly, kinda like ‘speaking-in-tongues.’ Beautiful, deep words flowed out of his mouth and seemed to even surprise him. I call it ‘anointed.’ It was an hour-long sentence where he was emphasizing that the only way our country can be saved is for it to turn back to God and His principles. No abortion. No gay marriage. Keyes says that both the Republican and Democratic parties are corrupt now and progressive; they are the same party. He believes that ‘the people’ should raise up the leader they want, instead of the system we now have where the person decides they want to be ‘the leader.’ Keyes’ faith in Jesus Christ is sincere and big. His wife Jocelyn loves Christ, too, and is gracious, smart, beautiful, modest and poised. She floats alongside of him with her long braid and her whimsical, thoughtful eyes. They are a great couple.”
And, by all accounts, the duo of Keyes and Jackson were pretty great, too.
Both performers were enthusiastically received aboard the Celebrity Millennium by a crowd of mostly non-tea partiers – including many non-Americans.
“I was struck by the very warm reception both Victoria and Alan got from the audience, which was dominated by folks who were not part of our group,” said Joseph Farah. “They got to see a side of a ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast member, comedienne and actress they probably have not seen before. And they got to see a side of the man I call ‘the ambassador of pure conservatism’ they have never seen before. It was quite an interesting and entertaining evening.”