David Letterman had a "Top 10 Signs President Bush Has Too Much Time On His Hands" after this occurred on Deal Or No Deal Monday night:
Bush pre-taped the bit from The White House to give a shout out to a contestant who served three tours of duty in Iraq. For the record, that does mark the first time a sitting U.S. president has appeared on a game show. Next stop for Bush: Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? The Biggest Loser? It won't be The Moment Of Truth.
Bush does appear to be in step with the current political mad dash to TV distraction, as Alessandra Stanley points out in Tuesdays New York Times. One night, Hilary Clinton is on The Colbert Report, the next Barack Obama is on The Daily Show. Meanwhile, Cindy McCain guests on The View as Michelle Obama drops in on Rachael Ray. All three presidential candidates taped messages for Monday night's broadcast of WWE Raw, the No. 1 show on the most popular U.S. cable channel still not in Canada, The USA Network.
As Stanley suggests, "It’s hard to recall how unusual it was to see Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas playing the sax on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992."
Or, going even further back, this appearance by a U.S. presidential candidate on TV's No. 1 comedy show in the heat of one of the most contentious presidential elections ever:
That was, of course, Richard Nixon on Laugh In. His opponent, sitting vice president Hubert Humphrey, refused to go on. Nixon won. Say good night, Dick.
It happens in Canada, too. Stephen Harper invites Rick Mercer over to 24 Sussex for a sleep over and the Rick Mercer Report enjoys record ratings. Bob Rae even went skinny dipping with Mercer. Jean Chretien couldn't get on Mercer's show fast enough when his book came out. A well placed cameo on Air Farce, 22 Minutes, even Corner Gas, is political gold.
Shots of Chretien, Liberal leader Stephane Dion and Ken Dryden were all over CBC's broadcast of the Montreal Canadiens series-winning victory over the Boston Bruins Monday night. Face time is face time, be it a hockey game or a game show.
Those other Top 10 Signs Bush has too much time on his hands? No. 10: "Spends most of the day looking for friends on Facebook." No. 1: "Finally catching up on unread intelligence memos."
As Homer Simpson says, "It's funny 'cause it's true!"