- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 1, 2005

First lady Laura Bush stole President Bush’s thunder last night with a surprise comedy routine that zapped him and brought an audience that included much of official Washington and a dash of Hollywood to a standing ovation.

The president’s customary lighthearted speech at the 91st annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner was quickly “interrupted” by his wife in an obviously planned comedic ploy.

“Not that old joke, not again,” Mrs. Bush said, to the delight of the audience. “I’ve been attending these dinners for years and just quietly sitting there. I’ve got a few things I want to say for a change.”

Mr. Bush sat down and the first lady proceeded to note that the president is “usually in bed by now.” She said she told him recently: “If you really want to end tyranny in the world, you’re going to have to stay up later.” Mrs. Bush outlined a typical evening: “Nine o’clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep and I’m watching ‘Desperate Housewives.’ ” Pause. “With Lynn Cheney.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife.”

The line earned particularly rambunctious applause from the vicinity of the Hilton Washington hotel ballroom where actor James Denton from the hit ABC-TV show sat.

Mrs. Bush said she and her husband obviously were destined to be together as a couple, because “I was the librarian who spent 12 hours a day in the library, and yet somehow I met George.”

The guest professional comedian, Cedric the Entertainer, next came to the microphone to deliver one-liners, but not before conceding the first lady was a hard act to follow.

News organizations hosted such stars as Goldie Hawn, LL Cool J, Richard Gere, Jane Fonda, Mary Tyler Moore, and quarterbacks Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles.

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