Insert Comma logo
Insert Comma • A Portfolio of Leigh E. Rich
Gridiron roasts 2004 candidates

There really were no sacred cows at annual satire

By Leigh E. Rich

It said so right on the poster.

The 2004 Gridiron crew promised this year’s political satire produced by the Denver Press Club and KBDI Channel 12 would offer “no sacred cows.”

And any unfortunate enough to have wandered into the event at the DCPA’s Donald Seawell Ballroom that night ended up on the chopping block.

If you think the 2004 campaign season has been nothing but low blows and potshots, it can hardly compare to the Oct. 17 Gridiron—a show often called “the wittiest, funniest, most satirical event of the year” (well, at least by the culprits, ne’er-do-wells and “accessories to the grime” who have written and performed these politically incorrect skits over the years).

On the other hand, the Gridiron did give voters something to truly laugh about.

And to no one’s shock and surprise, the fodder this year was endless—from the buffoonery over Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s Senate seat and the sex scandal at CU to America’s favorite three blondes … Hillary, Martha and Marilyn Musgrave.

Playing off of the Coloradans for Plain Talk ads that have been plaguing the local airwaves, the Gridiron team similarly skewered 4th CD incumbent Musgrave, who was nowhere to be found—at least in the flesh. During one song that asked “What Have They Done to the U.S.?” a pink-suited blondie sneaked across the stage to pick a soldier’s pocket.

And next on the congresswoman’s agenda? “A constitutional amendment banning interspecies sex,” according to the Gridiron evildoers.

Even KCNC News 4 Anchor Jim Benemann joined the broil, explaining the Federal Marriage Amendment proponent’s absence that night as due to conflicting plans with comedian Ellen DeGeneres and an Indigo Girls concert.

And introducing Colorado Senate President John Andrews—the anchor’s own state senator—Benemann applauded Andrews for his success in District 27 as the head elephant.

“Daffy Duck could run in that district,” Benemann said. “Just put an ‘R’ by his name.”

But it wasn’t just the Republicans who found themselves in the hot seat. Colorado Treasurer Mike Coffman gave new meaning to the term “funny money.”

According to Coffman, the GOP has perhaps unfairly denigrated Democratic hopefuls John Kerry and John Edwards, who have much to offer America.

“It’s just so tall, so big,” Coffman explained to the crowd. “You just can’t ignore Kerry’s hair. … A family of four could live in there.”

And as for his trial lawyer sidekick? “I’m voting Republican,” Coffman reassured, “but if I ever slip and fall … I’m calling John Edwards.”

Sports journalist Sam Adams, who emceed the event, brought the Democratic roast closer to home. With a nod to Attorney General and Senate hopeful Ken Salazar and wife Hope—who manages a Dairy Queen—Adams promised the audience, following dinner provided by Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que, free Peanut Buster Parfaits all around.

Likewise, Benemann poked a big stick at Musgrave’s Democratic opponent. There are “a lot of politicians here tonight,” Benemann said, surveying the crowd that included Salazar, Colorado Sens. John Andrews and Mark Hillman, Colorado House Minority Leader Andrew Romanoff, and 4th CD contender Stan Matsunaka. “A lot of politicians … and Stan.”

Though notably absent, beer baron and Republican contender for the vacated Senate seat Pete Coors was grilled just the same.

Colorado’s 7 News Anchor Mike Landess reported that weapons of mass destruction have indeed been found … “buried in Pete Coors’ eyebrows.”

But the 2004 Gridiron paid attention to more than just partisan politics that night.

After taking a quick jab at the nation’s health care crisis—“Why was Jesus Christ born in a manger? His parents had Kaiser”—Treasurer Coffman provided some historical insight into the illustrious profession.

As two of the world’s oldest vocations, he said, politicians and prostitutes have much in common.

“They both take your money up front,” and what prostitutes offer their customers, “politicians have done to the taxpayers.”

And former Gov. Dick Lamm lamented about the good ol’ days: “People used to be able to say nice things across the aisle.”

Not so anymore, according to Coffman.

Right now, he said, politicians rank somewhere “between pedophiles and trial lawyers.” 

Rich, L. E. (2004, November 5). Gridiron roasts 2004 candidates: There really were no sacred cows at annual satire. The Colorado Statesman.

Comments are closed.