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Punch Lines

January 29, 1998

A Non-Clinton Joke! On this day in 1886, Karl Benz got a patent for the first gas-engine car. "The license plate frame said, 'My other car hasn't been invented yet.' " (Kenny Noble Cortes)

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Humor: President Clinton said he's taking comfort in being contacted by the clergy. "Actually, it was just Jimmy Swaggart. He wanted Monica Lewinsky's phone number." (Jerry Perisho)

Hypocrisy 101: Feminists are surprisingly quiet about Clinton's alleged sexual indiscretions. "A spokeswoman for NOW says they won't condemn the prez unless he does something really offensive, such as making a joke about a pubic hair on a can of Coke." (Ann Harrison)

Irony 101: Newsweek and Time both have cover stories on the sex scandal. "Meanwhile the Star and National Enquirer contain full reports on the pope's trip to Cuba." (Daily Scoop)

Iraqgate: Tension continues to build over reports that Saddam Hussein is producing chemical weapons. "The Pentagon says Iraq now has a chemical weapons stockpile large enough to make two Clinton sex scandals go away." (Steve Voldseth)

Iraq II: Clinton threatened Hussein with a military attack. Hussein then accused Clinton of naked aggression. "He can just get in line." (Argus Hamilton)

Podiumgate: "You probably didn't see the disclaimer they put on the State of the Union Address: 'No interns were seduced in the making of this speech.' " (Jay Leno)

State of Union II: "The address was broadcast by the major networks, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN--and the Playboy Channel." (Daily Scoop)

Union III: The speech went well, although some felt it was inappropriate that Republicans changed the presidential seal to a big zipper. (Dennis Blair)

Bimbogate: "Remember a couple of years ago, when Clinton was telling young people they should wait to have sex? Now we know what he wanted them to wait for: him." (Leno)

*

The Hacked-Up David Letterman:

Top 10 ways Clinton can distract attention from the scandal. . . .

3. During press conference, use fly rod to yank off Sam Donaldson's toupee.

2. Appear on "Jerry Springer" and beat the crap out of Kenneth Starr.

* SEND US A LINE: Got a joke? Send it to Laugh Lines by fax, (213) 237-0732, or mail, Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053.

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