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Jewish World Review April 11, 2003 / 9 Nisan 5763

Steve Young

Steve Young
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Consumer Reports

Goodbye Shecky Al-Sahaf, We Hardly Knew Ye | You can rest easy, Jay. Take a deep breath, Dave. Your jobs are safe for now. It looks like Iraqi's Information Minister Mohammed Saeed "Shecky" al-Sahaf has gone to that great comedy club bunker in the sky.

Known for his hysterical daily depictions of Iraqi war successes and Coalition dire failures, al-Sahaf has had his nightly stand-up routines cancelled by the failing U.S troops. Still, the Iraqi funnyman must be given his due. Andy Kaufman couldn't have pulled off his con any better. Al-Sahaf's hilarious bit on the American forces committing suicide as the Iraqis surrounded them just begged for Tommy Frank to drive an American tank by dragging one the Hussein's gold-plated palace toilets behind him...or at least the giant metal head of Hussein.

As entertaining had been Sahaf's performance pieces, one wondered if it wouldn't have been long before CBS's Les Moonves signed the wacky info-comic to a sitcom development deal. Y'gotta know that and AT&T was itching to give Carrot Top his walking papers to make ready for the new 1-800-AT&T Iraqi wacky guy.

In memorial to Sahaf and his ability to have fun with a touchy situation, it makes you kind of wonder how he could have eased the tension doing publicity during previous hostilities.

Roseanne's PR Representative, July 25, 1990 - "Ms. Barr's rendition of the National Anthem was critically acclaimed by the San Diego fans and we are now entertaining invitations from the American Legion and President Bush for an encore at the White House.

McGovern Press Secretary, November 7, 1972 - "Governor McGovern is well on his way to a unanimous victory over the infidel Nixon. We have received word that President Nixon is now at the Watergate writing his concession speech."

Hitler's Spokesperson, April 30, 1944 - "We have just received great news for all Germans as the leader of the Third Reich has just married his long time gal friend, Eva Braun. They will be hosting a lavish bunker wedding party and victory over the demoralized Allies dance tonight. The happy couple will be spending their honeymoon at the best non-Jewish hotel in your Atlantic City."

Custer's Press Attache, June 26, 1876 - "There is little doubt that while no pagan Indians were able to reach Little Big Horn, the barbarian Sitting Bull and his heathen followers have felt the wrath of never-outwitted General Custer."

Roman Information Minister, April 30, 30 - "Yeppers.. He's dead. As a door nail. I mean I saw him up there with my own eyes. Ain't no miracle that's gonna bring him back . And you can take that to the bank. "

Meteorologist Press Agent, Tue, 5000 B.C.E - "Ah, Noah a crackpot. It's only going to be an afternoon sun shower."

Good night, Mr and Mrs Shahaf, wherever you are.

JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is contributing editor at the Writers Guild of America's "Written By" magazine. He is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success," "The 130 Tales of Winchell Mink," Harper Collins (Winter, 2003) and the director/writer of "My Dinner With Ovitz." His website is Comment by clicking here.

04/04/03: An open letter to the right...and left
03/25/03: Should we be funny during war?
03/19/03: The 2003 Academy aWARds
03/04/03: Energy shortage vs energy profit: A Political Primer
02/28/03: Celebrities for war
02/20/03: So you want to be a liberal talk show host
02/18/03: The Sting, Part II: Osama turns himself in
02/10/03: Michael Jackson threat level raised to "orange"
01/23/03: Can we really blame HBO for terrorism?
01/09/03: You can buy your very own family...on eBay
01/02/03: A look back at a sorry but pretty funny year
12/30/02: Using 2002ís failures to make a successful 2003
12/20/02: McCartney Credit Reverse Sets A Dangerous Precedent
12/18/02: Radio talk takes a surprise hit
12/16/02: Apologies running rampant: The country is in a sorry state
12/13/02: Lott apologizes for his apologies
11/26/02: Finding the McTunity within their McFailure
11/15/02: Can the Dems learn from Lincoln's failures?
11/06/02: The Day After... who'll comfort me now?
11/04/02: We can all fight ageism!
10/29/02: Was I totally responsible for the market's upsurge?
10/09/02: Finding The Bull Within: Wall Street Needs To Rethink The "F" Word
10/01/02: Merriam-Webster Needs To Rethink the "F" word
09/25/02: Held up in the passing lane ... and life's other positive curve balls
09/23/02: Shrinking the waist problem: Using Good Old American Failure To Lose Inches
09/17/02: Earth to Florida: No more elections
09/11/02: The humor will return. Just not yet
09/09/02: Bush coalition on fast track
08/30/02: N'Sync's Bass gets NASA okay: Former astronauts Gagarin and Glenn form boy band
08/21/02: Insider's a good thing
08/05/02: America goes Madison Ave.: The Selling of America
07/29/02: ROCKIN' RENO: The Newest Political Strategy For Filling The Coffers
07/23/02: Is Wall Street the enemy? No, but that's where the enemy hides
07/10/02: Cooking the books
06/27/02: Apocalypse now!?
06/14/02: Coulter for the defense?
05/21/02: SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS SELF! NO ONE ELSE INJURED! Inept bomber is refused entrance into Paradise. 72 Virgins breathe sigh of relief
05/19/02: Hey world! How about trying the shoe on the other foot hypotheses
05/13/02: AM Radio and Enron
05/03/02: "Deep Throat" to Be Revealed ... But will America Swallow It!?
04/29/02: Britney Spears next in line to blast off into orbit
04/22/02: Former Liberal Seeks Conservative Book Deal
04/15/02: If you truly care about America, you'll read this column
04/01/02: My Uncle Miltie
03/27/02: The Fightin' Righties
03/20/02: Woody Allen refuses to cast self...
03/18/02: The Realies
02/19/02: Greenspan Announces Lower (Television Network) Interest Rates
02/15/02: Ken Lay sells soul to the devil: Beelzebub loses life's savings
02/12/02: Enron's Skilling mistakenly takes the Fourth, forcing him to spill his guts
02/06/02: BOOSTING THE SAGGING ECONOMY: Let Green Stamps be our financial brassiere
01/24/02: "I'M THE ONE!"
01/16/02: Goodbye "Rincoln Continental," we hardry knew ye
01/14/02: "But He Was Such A Good Boy" gene, found to be defective
01/04/02: PLAY BUZKASHI!
12/31/01: Come on war. You can do better!
12/26/01: NOT MY OSAMA!
12/24/01: TIME caves
12/20/01: Finally! Friends of Color
12/14/01: Bin Laden's Funniest Home Videos
12/10/01: What if Catching bin Laden is in dispute?
11/30/01: Back to normal...too bad
11/16/01: Osama not enough for some
11/09/01: Networks at war!
11/05/01: Bridges Over Troubled Water
10/29/01: The other terrorists
10/16/01: Diary Of A Young Defense Department Comedy Writer
10/01/01: Playlands, burgers, and family sanity
09/25/01: Dissent is walking on red, white and blue egg shells
09/21/01: OPEN LETTER THE MOST HIGH (RE: Falwell and Robertson comments)
09/17/01: Gary, we miss ya
09/10/01: Smelling out a real hero
09/04/01: Don't give up on that dream!
08/24/01: Pitch day at the Mouse
08/21/01: It Depends On What Your Definition Of "Unlimited" Is


© 2002, Steve Young