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Punch Lines

July 12, 1996

In the news: Responding to Richard Lamm's challenge for the Reform Party nomination, says Michael X. Ferraro, "Ross Perot sang, 'It's my party and I'll run if I want to.' "

* Adds Alex Pearlstein, "Perot said he's ready to make sacrifices for the American people. Hey, I believe him. He's already butchered a Lamm."

A Cosmo survey voted JFK as the handsomest president. Says Argus Hamilton, "It's been all downhill since then. These days a political cartoonist has to be an ear, nose and throat specialist to draw Ross Perot, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole."

A secret R.J. Reynolds marketing report in 1984 stressed the importance of selling cigarettes to young people to "replace" other smokers. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "Fortunately, plans for a 'Nicotine at Nite' cable channel fell through."

Chrysler Corp. plans to keep its president beyond mandatory retirement age. Asks Jenny Church, "By rolling back his odometer?"

Nelson Mandela met with Queen Elizabeth. Says Alan Ray, "They spoke of deep divisions, battle-weary people and economic uncertainty. No matter how he tried, he couldn't get her off the subject of Charles and Di."

Scientists have determined that days are growing much longer. Says Pearlstein, "Coincidence? The phenomenon coincides perfectly with lawyers' decision in 500 BC to begin billing by the hour."

You see those lines for "Independence Day," stretching around the block? Says Jay Leno, "I haven't seen lines this long since Madonna was trying to get pregnant."

In Ohio, 30 people--including police officers--reported seeing UFOs over the weekend. Says Cutler, "Not all movies have this effect. For example, nobody's spotted a cable guy."

Besides O.J., guess who else celebrated birthdays last Tuesday: Courtney Love and John Tesh. Says Leno, "Courtney Love and John Tesh? Well, so much for astrology."


Weather report: Thunderstorms hit San Diego on Wednesday and lifeguards say rattlesnakes are washing up on the beaches. Says Hamilton, "They're early. The Republican convention doesn't start for four more weeks."

Hurricane Bertha scoured the Atlantic Coast. Says Ray, "Residents in threatened areas are preparing for the worst: FEMA."

Also this week, a tornado swept through Denver International Airport. Says Jerry Perisho, "The results were amazing: The luggage delivery system delivered hundreds of bags unopened, to the proper owners, on time."


Reader Hu Wei-Li of Santa Monica says her grandmother recently returned to Beijing after her first visit to the United States. Back home, her neighbors were eager to hear her comparison of the two countries.

"You know what?" she told them. "In Los Angeles they have McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken, too."

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