EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Inauguration

January 17, 2009

Comedians say a sad goodbye to Bush and his 'Bushisms'

"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

"Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."

"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."

You probably recognize these famous quotes as "Bushisms" — statements made by President George W. Bush and statements he would probably like people to forget.

But his legendary malapropisms, mispronunciations and downright poor word choices have made Bush one of the most beloved heroes of the comedy world. Comedians are lamenting the end of the Bush comedic era, and still figuring out how to make fun of incoming president Barack Obama.

"I think I am going to quit comedy. I am going to hang it up," said Methuen comedian Erin Livingston Carroll, a Greater Boston comedy circuit regular.

"Seriously, I am really going to miss him," she said of Bush. "He kills me."

Haverhill comedian Ellen Moschetto thinks poking fun at President Obama will be a lot tougher, and comedians will have to reach much further for laughs.

"Barack doesn't have a regional accent or a twang," she said. "And he can pronounce 'nuclear.'"

That's part of why many comedians are a little sad, even as others throw parties to celebrate the new presidency.

"You know the guy that threw a shoe at him in Iraq?" Moschetto asked. "I hear the Yankees just drafted him for $10 million — I will miss that."

Beverly comedian Dave Rattigan, who will be doing stand-up comedy on Jan. 24, at the Claddagh in Lawrence, thinks comedians will tread carefully when razzing the new leader of the free world.

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