Dec. 19, 2008

HOLLYWOOD – God bless America, and how’s everybody?

• Barack Obama was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year Wednesday. He vowed to bring the nation together. There was a time when you could pay $100 a month to avoid Oprah Winfrey but now that she has signed with HBO that’s no longer possible.

• Tom Cruise apologized on the Today Show for pushing his Scientology beliefs on depression sufferers. He also thanked his parents for all their sacrifices for his success. Three times they sacrificed a chicken and once they sacrificed a goat.

• Caroline Kennedy began campaigning actively Tuesday to be named the U.S. Senator for New York. She endorsed Barack Obama for president last January and turned the tide in his favor. Why she is not in an unmarked grave in Arkansas is anybody’s guess.

• The National Football League laid off 150 office workers Tuesday as the reality of the economy hit the sport. Crime is rampant in the league. Last Sunday a running back got penalized 15 yards for swindling a Jewish charity.

• Bernie Madoff was placed under house arrest Wednesday for swindling people who trusted him out of $50 billion. He’s restricted to his Park Avenue apartment. How much harm can he do locked in an apartment with nothing but a telephone and a Rolodex?

• SEC Chairman Chris Cox ordered a probe of his own agency Wednesday for failing to detect Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Wall Street fraud. Al-Qaeda just called off all further operations in America. They can’t keep up with the competition.

• Inaugural officials predicted 4 million people will attend the Inauguration ceremony. Every power broker will be there. The Illinois governor will be kept out of town so in the event of a catastrophe, someone will be alive to sell the government.

• ABC News says Rod Blagojevich was a bookie with links to the mob before he was governor. Jesse Jackson Jr. just realized he was snitching on the Chicago mob. In lieu of flowers, his family is requesting that donations be made to his father’s slush fund.

• The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate to zero percent Tuesday. Lower interest rates allow you to go deeper into debt cheaply. So many people are digging a hole for themselves in Los Angeles that subway construction is two years ahead of schedule.

• The White House announced Tuesday that the U.S. and Iraq have agreed to a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal. It may leave thousands of U.S. troops on Iraqi soil for decades to come. There is an old saying in the Arab world, if the shoe fits, throw it.

• President Bush showed quick reflexes Sunday when he ducked two shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi reporter in Baghdad. It was chaotic. Throwing a shoe at someone in the Arab world is a sign of utter contempt, and the second shoe was a follow-up question.

• President Bush issued regulations Tuesday saying government agencies can ignore the Endangered Species Act. He’s tired of hearing about the plight of worms, snakes and rats. They have all their money in Swiss banks anyway.

• Wisconsin brothers Ed and Tom Shircel rolled perfect games bowling together in league play in Sheboygan on Monday. The brothers chose bowling over golf in high school. One of the advantages bowling has over golf is you seldom lose a bowling ball.

Argus Hamilton is the host comedian at The Comedy Store in Hollywood. He can be reached for speaking engagements by e-mail at argus@argushamilton.com.