Spoofs & Satire

Tanks for the Memories

America hasn’t been the same since Bob Hope died. Now—at war around the world—when we need him most, who will challenge the pompous and self-righteous?

Hope, wearing red boxer shorts and a T-shirt that says “Visit Beautiful Guantanamo Bay” climbs out of an Abrams tank amidst a sea of soldiers amassed on a Baghdad soccer field.

Hello, private contractors! [uproarious laughter] This is Bob “Hallelujah-I’m-not-in-Fallujah” Hope.

Hey, did you hear about the sleepwalking suicide bomber? He showed up at the Baghdad Starbucks at 3 a.m. and killed a cappuccino machine.

You know, this terrorism thing is wild. In Hollywood the other day, they arrested an Iraqi terrorist at an acting school. He was over on a student visa, learning how to bomb on stage.

I know something about that. [gives trademark Hope grimace] My act has been banned in 140 countries under the Geneva Convention.

Back home, it’s election year. And it’s impossible to tell the elephants from the donkeys. They’re both so busy making asses out of themselves.

The Republicans are blaming everything on steroids and the Democrats. The Democrats are grateful for the attention.

How about that John Kerry? He’s got more flip-flops than Myrtle Beach at spring break.

We live in a topsy-turvy world, folks. “Customers” are called “guests.” “Clerks” are known as “associates.” Today, just before the show, I was in the mess hall and this guy came along and said, “Hello, I’m Donald Rumsfeld. I’ll be your server tonight.”

[hearty, appreciative laughter from the GIs]

You know what happens if the president dies? The vice president becomes president. Scary, huh? One heart attack and Bush could be in charge.

Hey, that Dick Cheney is something else. Talk about the boy who cried Wolfowitz!

Did you hear they finally found a weapon of mass destruction? A pin-up of Phyllis Diller in one of Saddam’s torture chambers… Our boys are still using it—now it’s called an abuse chamber.

I heard we just bombed another village with a wedding celebration going on. Also, another two Marines got blown up in a Humvee. I’ve got an idea to end this war. The Iraqis should stop getting married, and we should stop riding around in Humvees. [applause and cheers]

The Olsen twins—Ashley and Mary Kate—clad in revealing see-through jumpsuits, parachute in from above. They land a few yards from Hope’s tank. A tsunami of whistles and catcalls follows.

Hey, guys, get a load of the Olsen twins. [Hope leers at the girls] What a shame! There’s two of you, and there’s only one of me… Thank God for Viagra!

Grady Miller needs no introduction, unless you are wondering who he is. He spent his childhood in a nonobservant Presbyterian household, and credits his father (who was particularly nonobservant) with an early interest in humor. Mr. Miller is the author of A Winter in Hell and Late Bloomer. More by Grady Miller