Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Reagan’s Riffing During Sound Check

 

“My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” — Ronald Reagan, August 11, 1984

August Eleventh. It is a day in history that should be remembered. The day that Ronald Reagan outlawed Russia. Joking around while doing a soundcheck, Reagan freestyled something that was based on his intended speech of the day:

“My fellow Americans: I’m pleased to tell you that today I signed legislation that will allow student religious groups to begin enjoying a right they’ve too long been denied—the freedom to meet in public high schools during nonschool hours, just as other student groups are allowed to do.”

I always preferred the joke. But the press went wild with it, saying it was proof he should not be re-elected. Of course.

Do you remember that day?

Do you remember any other good jokes pulled by Presidents?

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    This is the Quote of the Day, which can be the easiest way to start a conversation on Ricochet. Our sign-up sheet awaits if you have a quotation you would like to share.

    • #1
    • August 11, 2020, at 1:58 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Saint Augustine Member

    Arahant: Do you remember any other good jokes pulled by Presidents?

    No, because the joke that Trump actually IS President clouds out all the other presidential jokes. I don’t even know who actually is President these days. Hillary, maybe?

    Trump. As President! Ha! Such a funny idea!

    It’s amazing how they’ve kept the joke going for so long.

    • #2
    • August 11, 2020, at 2:04 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant: Do you remember any other good jokes pulled by Presidents?

    No, because the joke that Trump actually IS President clouds out all the other presidential jokes. I don’t even know who actually is President these days. Hillary, maybe?

    Trump. As President! Ha! Such a funny idea!

    It’s amazing how they’ve kept the joke going for so long.

    The government where you are has taken control of your account, haven’t they?

    • #3
    • August 11, 2020, at 2:07 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. KentForrester Moderator

    At a dinner party one time, a woman who was sitting next to Calvin Coolidge turned to the president and said, “I bet my friend that I can get more than two words out of you.”

    Coolidge, always a man of few words, replied, “You lose.”

     

    • #4
    • August 11, 2020, at 2:24 AM PDT
    • 20 likes
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    At a dinner party one time, a woman who was sitting next to Calvin Coolidge turned to the president and said, “I bet my friend that I can get more than two words out of you.”

    Coolidge, always a man of few words, replied, “You lose.”

    Definitely high ranking among Presidential quips.

    • #5
    • August 11, 2020, at 3:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    I read a short story where that started a global thermonuclear war – even worse, the story was based on HP Lovecraft, so a number of Eldritch abominations were turned loose as doomsday weapons. It was an extremely depressing cosmic horror story, all for a cheap shot on Reagan. It’s called A Colder War, in case you need to be more depressed

    • #6
    • August 11, 2020, at 4:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Saint Augustine Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I read a short story where that started a global thermonuclear war – even worse, the story was based on HP Lovecraft, so a number of Eldritch abominations were turned loose as doomsday weapons. It was an extremely depressing cosmic horror story, all for a cheap shot on Reagan. It’s called A Colder War, in case you need to be more depressed

    But eldritch abominations are kind of cool.

    • #7
    • August 11, 2020, at 4:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    It’s called A Colder War, in case you need to be more depressed

    No, thank you, but thanks for your memory.

    • #8
    • August 11, 2020, at 4:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    But eldritch abominations are kind of cool.

    Only if they’re on our side.

    • #9
    • August 11, 2020, at 4:56 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I remember both. I also remember that the media lost their poop when Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” the year before.

    Years later, one of the imprisoned political prisoners, Natan Sharansky, told Reagan how word had traveled through the prison grapevine. He told Reagan of how the prisoners had celebrated: the President understood.

    • #10
    • August 11, 2020, at 5:06 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  11. Tex929rr Coolidge

    George W Bush, at Yale commencement (before 9/11):

    “To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done,” went the president’s set-up line. “And to the C students, I say, you, too, can be president of the United States.” In a reference to Vice President Cheney, a Yale dropout, Bush continued: “So now we know: If you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president.”

    And I remember when Ron Nessen, press secretary for Gerald Ford was the guest host of Saturday Night Live. IIRC, the POTUS did a gag introducing him “ladies and gentlemen, the press secretary to the president of the United States”…

    • #11
    • August 11, 2020, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  12. Bishop Wash Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Arahant: Do you remember any other good jokes pulled by Presidents?

    No, because the joke that Trump actually IS President clouds out all the other presidential jokes. I don’t even know who actually is President these days. Hillary, maybe?

    Trump. As President! Ha! Such a funny idea!

    It’s amazing how they’ve kept the joke going for so long.

    [Dr. Emmett Brown is doubting Marty McFly’s story about that he is from the future]
    Dr. Emmett Brown: Then tell me, future boy, who’s President of the United States in 1985?
    Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.
    Dr. Emmett Brown: Ronald Reagan? The actor?
    [chuckles in disbelief]
    Dr. Emmett Brown: Then who’s vice president? Jerry Lewis?
    [rushing out and down a hill toward his laboratory]
    Dr. Emmett Brown: I suppose Jane Wyman is the First Lady!
    Marty McFly: [following Doc] Whoa. Wait, Doc!
    Dr. Emmett Brown: And Jack Benny is secretary of the treasury.
    Marty McFly: [outside the lab door] Doc, you gotta listen to me.
    Dr. Emmett Brown: [opens the door to the lab] I’ve had enough practical jokes for one evening. Good night, future boy!

    • #12
    • August 11, 2020, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. RightAngles Member

    When Reagan was shot and they took him to the ER, he looked up at the docs and nurses and said “I hope you re all Republicans.“

    • #13
    • August 11, 2020, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    When Reagan was shot and they took him to the ER, he looked up at the docs and nurses and said “I hope you re all Republicans.“

    That was the first thing he said that made me laugh out loud.

    Then I realized: he had a bullet in his chest. He had already been bleeding from the mouth as a result. He had no idea how — or even if — things were going to work out. And I immediately stopped worrying about what kind of leader he would be under pressure.

    • #14
    • August 11, 2020, at 12:07 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. Bishop Wash Member

    I don’t remember it when it happened but heard the audio many years later and love it. I have a .wav file of it on some computer at home.

    Presidential jokes aren’t readily coming to mind. Did George Bush joke with Dana Carvey while he was still President? George W. Bush seemed to have a playful spirit.

    Another one from Reagan, maybe apocryphal, I’ll meet with the Soviet leader if he quits dying on me.

    • #15
    • August 11, 2020, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    George W. Bush seemed to have a playful spirit.

    Heh, remember when he and Cheney got caught on a hot mike referring to Adam Clymer as a downward-pointing bodily sphincter? Then, I believe one of them referred to someone else as a real Clymer. The memory is fuzzy, and I may be conflating what someone else did later.

    • #16
    • August 11, 2020, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    George W. Bush seemed to have a playful spirit.

    Heh, remember when he and Cheney got caught on a hot mike referring to Adam Clymer as a downward-pointing bodily sphincter? Then, I believe one of them referred to someone else as a real Clymer. The memory is fuzzy, and I may be conflating what someone else did later.

    “He’s a major league [body part] from the New York TImes.”

    • #17
    • August 11, 2020, at 12:43 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    George H. W. Bush had Dana Carvey impersonate him and call the Secret Service outside the Oval Office to come in.

    • #18
    • August 11, 2020, at 12:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. BastiatJunior Member

    Remember how Chevy Chase would portray President Gerald Ford as a bumbling idiot. He would also open the SNL news segment by saying, “Good Evening! I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not!”

    President Ford had a speaking engagement at a dinner attended by Chevy Chase. Mr. Ford was seated next to Chevy Chase.

    When it was time for him to speak, Ford knocked his plate onto Chevy as he was getting up. He then walked to the podium, looked directly at Chevy Chase and said, “Good Evening! I’m Gerald Ford and you’re not!”

    • #19
    • August 11, 2020, at 3:07 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  20. RightAngles Member

    In a debate, when his opponent said he was two-faced, Abe Lincoln said, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

    • #20
    • August 11, 2020, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  21. philo Member

    As with such things, I like to go to the diary and see how the man documented the events himself. This happened while on vacation so there is one long entry covering July 28 thru August 14. His words:

    … An interesting lunch with the Papal Ambas. to the U.S. and of course my Sat. radio tapings. On one of them I give the press an opening to display their irresponsibility which the did. Doing a voice level with no thought that anyone other than the few people in the room would hear I ad libbed jokingly something about the Soviets. The networks had a line open & recorded it and of course made it public — hence and international incident

    [Ranch life and chores.]

     

    • #21
    • August 11, 2020, at 5:04 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    In a debate, when his opponent said he was two-faced, Abe Lincoln said, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

    Lincoln Douglas debates were extraordinary.

    Now we have NY Times aka DNC Times calling for zero debates. 

    Lincoln was the greatest thinker among politicians (Michael Barone)

     

    • #22
    • August 14, 2020, at 4:22 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    In a debate, when his opponent said he was two-faced, Abe Lincoln said, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

    Lincoln Douglas debates were extraordinary.

    Now we have NY Times aka DNC Times calling for zero debates.

    Lincoln was the greatest thinker among politicians (Michael Barone)

     

    Lincoln forced the debates by following Douglas around and giving speeches right after Douglas did, then getting his remarks picked up in the newspapers. Lincoln got to rebut Douglas’ points without Douglas having the opportunity to respond. Douglas got tired of that, thus the debates.

    • #23
    • August 14, 2020, at 6:16 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    In a debate, when his opponent said he was two-faced, Abe Lincoln said, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

    Lincoln Douglas debates were extraordinary.

    Now we have NY Times aka DNC Times calling for zero debates.

    Lincoln was the greatest thinker among politicians (Michael Barone)

     

    Lincoln forced the debates by following Douglas around and giving speeches right after Douglas did, then getting his remarks picked up in the newspapers. Lincoln got to rebut Douglas’ points without Douglas having the opportunity to respond. Douglas got tired of that, thus the debates.

    Are you giving advice to Trump?

     

    • #24
    • August 14, 2020, at 12:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    In a debate, when his opponent said he was two-faced, Abe Lincoln said, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

    Lincoln Douglas debates were extraordinary.

    Now we have NY Times aka DNC Times calling for zero debates. 

    Lincoln was the greatest thinker among politicians (Michael Barone)

     

    Lincoln forced the debates by following Douglas around and giving speeches right after Douglas did, then getting his remarks picked up in the newspapers. Lincoln got to rebut Douglas’ points without Douglas having the opportunity to respond. Douglas got tired of that, thus the debates.

    Are you giving advice to Trump?

     

    Following him wouldn’t be hard. Responding to all of his canned “speeches” and “interviews” would be pretty easy. And I have my doubts that Biden can spell “rebut” let alone do one. As a means of forcing a debate, it probably won’t work on it’s own.

    • #25
    • August 14, 2020, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    In a debate, when his opponent said he was two-faced, Abe Lincoln said, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

    Lincoln Douglas debates were extraordinary.

    Now we have NY Times aka DNC Times calling for zero debates.

    Lincoln was the greatest thinker among politicians (Michael Barone)

     

    Lincoln forced the debates by following Douglas around and giving speeches right after Douglas did, then getting his remarks picked up in the newspapers. Lincoln got to rebut Douglas’ points without Douglas having the opportunity to respond. Douglas got tired of that, thus the debates.

    Was Douglas ducking debates?

     

    • #26
    • August 14, 2020, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    In a debate, when his opponent said he was two-faced, Abe Lincoln said, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”

    Lincoln Douglas debates were extraordinary.

    Now we have NY Times aka DNC Times calling for zero debates.

    Lincoln was the greatest thinker among politicians (Michael Barone)

     

    Lincoln forced the debates by following Douglas around and giving speeches right after Douglas did, then getting his remarks picked up in the newspapers. Lincoln got to rebut Douglas’ points without Douglas having the opportunity to respond. Douglas got tired of that, thus the debates.

    Was Douglas ducking debates?

     

    Lincoln wanted them and Douglas wasn’t interested. So Lincoln undertook the tactics I described until Douglas gave in.

    • #27
    • August 14, 2020, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes