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Hey George, Hu is the new leader of China

December 15, 2002

Chicago playwright James Sherman ("Beau Jest") was listening to the radio last month when the appointment of Hu Jintao -- China's new Communist Party chief -- was announced. He knocked off a parody of Abbott and Costello's classic baseball routine "Who's on First" and sent it to 20 friends.

Within days, media outlets such as Newsweek, Esquire and Germany's Focus magazine contacted him. And, while "Googling" himself last week, he found "Hu's on First" posted on Web sites in Italy, Portugal, Germany and Scandinavia.

"This was a huge lesson in the power of the Internet," Sherman said. "I'm a little concerned that I'll be hearing from [homeland security czar] Tom Ridge any day. There's a subculture that passes along stuff like this. And Bush -- a C student, full of malapropisms -- is certainly ripe for satire."

An excerpt:

Scene: The Oval Office. Enter National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's up?

Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.

George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China? ...

Condi: Hu.... That's the man's name.

George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir is in China?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China -- get me the secretary general of the U.N. on the phone.

Condi: Kofi?

George: No, thanks.

Condi: You don't want Kofi?

George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk.... Now get on the phone.

Condi: (on the phone) Rice, here.

George: 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?

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