Steven F. Freeman

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Hu's on First?

page last modified: 04/06/2018


Soon after the announcement that the Communist Party had chosen Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao as its new general secretary, playwright James Sherman wrote the following skit based on the Abbott and Costello's Who's on First classic.


(We take you now to the Oval Office where George W. is meeting with Condoleezza Rice)

W: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?
Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.
W: Great. Lay it on me.
Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.
W: That's what I want to know.
Condi: That's what I'm telling you.
W: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes.
W: I mean the fellow's name.
Condi: Hu.
W: The guy in China.
Condi: Hu.
W: The new leader of China.
Condi: Hu.
W: The Chinaman!
Condi: Hu is leading China.
W: Now whaddya' asking me for?
W: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
Condi: That's the man's name.
W: That's who's name?
Condi: Yes.
W: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
W: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the Middle East.
Condi: That's correct.
W: Then who is in China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
W: Yassir is in China?
Condi: No, sir.
W: Then who is?
Condi: Yes, sir.
W: Yassir?
Condi: No, sir.

Condi: Kofi?
W: No, thanks.
Condi: You want Kofi?
W: No.
Condi: You don't want Kofi.
W: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.
Condi: Yes, sir.
W: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi?
W: Milk! Will you please make the call?
Condi: And call who?
W: Who is the guy at the U.N?
Condi: Hu is the guy in China.
W: Will you stay out of China?!
Condi: Yes, sir.
W: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi.
W: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.
(Condi picks up the phone.)
Condi: Rice, here.
W: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe we should send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East. Can you get Chinese food in the Middle East?

Written by James Sherman, published at the Washington Times, November 22, 2002.


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