‘Bush’ confronts ‘Saddam’ on ‘Conan O’Brien’

By Joe Kovacs

Saddam Hussein is violating the U.N. resolution requiring him to disarm and allow in weapons inspectors, because his letter to the U.N. was single-spaced, not double-spaced.

That according to a comedy sketch on this morning’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” The skit featured a President Bush sound-alike calling the single-spacing “an affront to freedom.”

O’Brien interviewed “the president” – merely a still photograph of Bush with a live, talking mouth superimposed onto the picture – to find out his reaction to Saddam’s capitulation.

Bush said Saddam was in violation of the terms by typing his response in the “liberty-hating” Times Roman Bold font, when Helvetica had been specifically requested. He also cited Iraq’s response within five days instead of seven, but admitted “geometry” was never his strong point.

Nevertheless, the commander in chief said the U.S. was ready to send in inspectors.

“It’ll be quite an inspection,” said Bush. “We’re gonna be sending in a barrage of weapons-inspecting missiles. Yeah, those weapons-inspecting missiles – they’ll be able to signal a weapons-free area with a massive explosion.”

“People are worried that if there is a war, that we’re gonna get mired in another Vietnam,” stated O’Brien.

“Oh, no, Conan,” responded Bush, “I assure you this war will be nothing like Vietnam. I intend to participate in this one.”

O’Brien then interviewed a still photograph of Saddam Hussein – again, with moving lips provided by comic talent Robert Smigel – to get the Iraqi president’s view on complying with U.N. Resolution 1441.

“1441?” asked a puzzled Hussein. “No, no. I accepted U.N. Resolution 1442 – that Norway must limit their salmon catch to 800,000 tons for the next five years. … I didn’t agree with every detail, but we were willing to go along with it in the interest of the worldwide salmon population.”

Stating he was just joking and that of course he’s complying with inspections, Saddam had some “good news” for the U.S.

“Because now we’re such good friends, I thought I’d save you a lot of time and effort, and I did the weapons inspections myself. And I found nothing! I found nothing! Unbelievable. I’m as surprised as you are. I was sure I was hiding something.”

“I’m not a liar, I’m a complier” said Saddam, reacting to boos from the studio audience. “I love America. I’m sorry about the old stuff, the whole ‘great Satan’ thing. I didn’t mean it. At least I called you a great Satan.”

When O’Brien asked Bush if Saddam’s compliance meant there was no longer a need for military action, Bush fudged a bit, saying there was more than one country involved: “Iraq” (pronounced I-rack), and “Iraq” (pronounced I-rock).

O’Brien, who has interviewed former President Bill Clinton and domestic diva Martha Stewart in the same still-photo fashion, tried to assure Bush that they were indeed the same country – to which Bush stated that next he’d be told the U.S. and America were the same nation.

“They are the same,” said Conan.

“Damn! There goes our strongest ally,” replied a dejected Bush.

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