Ready to play?

Join our two leading men, Dubya and Al, as they vie for the honor of winning the highest job in the land.

Published February 26, 2000 5:00PM (EST)

Feb. 26, 2000

Regis Philbin: Our first contestant tonight is George W. Bush. He's the son of a former president and currently serves as the governor of Texas. Before that he was president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale. Are you ready to play?

George W. Bush (Dubya): Let's do it.

Regis: Our first question: What color is the White House? A) black, B) orange, C) mauve or D) white?

Dubya: Oh, I know this, Regis. It's white.

Regis: You're absolutely right! You're now a member of Congress! Next question: Who was Ronald Reagan's vice president? A) Walter Mondale, B) Al Gore, C) Dan Quayle or D) George Bush?

Dubya: I know this one too. It's C, Dan Quayle.

Regis: Feel confident about that?

Dubya: Well, I know it's not D 'cause it wasn't me.

Regis: Remember, you have all of your lifelines available.

Dubya: That's true. Maybe I'll ask my staff -- I mean the audience. See if these fine voters can help me out.

Regis: OK, we'll ask the audience ... and 100 percent say George Bush.

Dubya: Oh, you mean Dad. I knew that. That's a good answer -- George Bush.

Regis: Yeah, you got it! You're now a committee chairman! Here comes the next question: Who stands to benefit the most from your proposed $483 billion tax cut? A) the rich, B) the very rich, C) the obscenely rich or D) the Democratic presidential nominee?

Dubya: That's an easy one, Regis -- the obscenely rich. We worked together to come up with this one. We think it's a real winner.

Regis: Final answer?

Dubya: Final answer.

Regis: Right again! You're now a powerful lobbyist! Moving on, which one of the following people is a leader of a foreign country? A) Jiang Zemin, B) Jesus, C) John McCain or D) Ken Starr?

Dubya: [Testily] I see what's going on here -- another one of these Pop-Tarts on foreigners. Well, I'm not gonna play gotcha this time. Gonna take the high horse and use a lifeguard. Like to call Dad. He follows this stuff.

Regis: We'll get him on the line ... Hello, President Bush? This is Regis Philbin.

George H.W. Bush: How's my boy doing?

Regis: Well, right now he needs your help.

Dubya: Dad, which one of these guys leads a foreign country: Jiang Zemin, Jesus, John McCain or Kenny Starr?

Bush Sr.: We went over all the foreign leaders. Don't you remember?

Dubya: Yeah, but I wasn't sure if I'd test positive. There's a lot at stake here, what with all that stuff you've been saying about your leprosy ...

Bush Sr.: Legacy, son. The answer is Jiang Zemin. Chinese. Believe I may have even thrown up on him. Can't remember.

Dubya: Thanks, Poppy.

Bush Sr.: Sure, son. But you don't have to run everything by me. Remember, what a leader's got to do is, he's got to lead.

Dubya: Got it. OK, Regis, I'll go with this Jiang fellow.

Regis: Correct! You're now an ambassador! Moving on: In the event of a threatened Russian nuclear attack, would it be best to: A) call Vladimir Putin, B) call Dad, C) ask Scotty for more power to the deflector shields or D) just nuke 'em?

Dubya: That's a tough one. Can I go 50-50 on this?

Regis: No problem, we'll just take away two of the wrong answers ... and we're left with A) call Vladimir Putin and D) just nuke 'em.

Dubya: I don't know if I have an answer to that. I wish I could just wave a wand. But my heart says A, so I'll go with that.

Regis: So that's a guess?

Dubya: Of course. 'Cause that's what a president's got to do. He's got to guess.

Regis: It's a good one! You're now the secretary of defense! And you're just one question away from winning the presidency, with no lifelines left. Here we go: Who is first in the line of succession to become president? A) the vice president, B) the speaker of the House, C) Jesus or D) the president's eldest son.

Dubya: D.

Regis: You're sure about that?

Dubya: Definitely. Believe it even says so in the Constellation.

Regis: [Dramatic pause, long sigh] I'm sorry, the answer is the vice president. But you've been a great candidate.

Dubya: [Peeved] Wait a second, you can't give me the boot. Didn't I pay for this microphone?

Regis: Sorry, your time is up, but let's hear it for the new secretary of defense! [Wild applause]

Regis: Our next contestant is Al Gore. He's from Washington, D.C.

Al Gore: Nashville, Tenn.

Regis: Right, he's from Nashville. He is the reinventor of government, the Internet and himself. Please welcome the vice president of the United States! Are you ready to play?

Gore: [Guttural shout] I have just begun to fight!

Regis: All right then. The big white obelisk in the middle of the National Mall is a monument to which president? A) Bill Clinton, B) Ronald Reagan, C) George Washington or D) George Bush?

Gore: First off, let me say that Bill Clinton is my friend. And he made a mistake.

Regis: Is that your final answer?

Gore: To what?

Regis: The question.

Gore: Oh, right -- that would be the Washington Monument.

Regis: Sure it is -- you're now a White House intern! OK, complete this famous political quotation: "I did not have sexual relations with that _____." A) woman, B) large woman, C) barn animal or D) cheerleading squad?

Gore: Woman. And let me just say that I think Bill Clinton is a great president.

Regis: Correct! You're now a media consultant! Here's our next question: Who invented the 1996 Clinton-Gore fund-raising machine? A) Al Gore, B) Thomas Edison, C) Buddhist monks or D) an MIT scientist?

Gore: I can take credit for that. Did I mention I also took the initiative in creating an ATM outside the door to my office?

Regis: Right again! You're now the attorney general! Moving on, which of the following activities does the law prohibit on White House property? A) sex with interns, B) groping in the hallways, C) Lincoln Bedroom vacation giveaways or D) making telephone solicitations for campaign contributions?

Gore: You know, Regis, there was no controlling legal authority.

Regis: Final answer?

Gore: Well, no. My final answer is D.

Regis: Yeah, you got it! You're now a special prosecutor! Next up: Which of the following inanimate objects was used by President Clinton to commit a lewd act, as depicted in the Starr report? A) the presidential seal, B) a cigar, C) a bust of JFK or D) a copy of the Gettysburg Address?

Gore: Well, I didn't read the Starr report, so I think I'll use a lifeline.

Regis: Who do you want to call?

Gore: I really hate to do this, but just to be safe I'm going to have to call the president.

Regis: OK, we'll get President Clinton on the line.

Clinton: Hullo?

Regis: Yes, Mr. President, Regis Philbin here. We've got Al Gore in the hot seat and he has a question.

Gore: Bill, what was that object you used to commit a lewd act with Monica?

Clinton: I'm not gonna answer that.

Gore: You have to -- my campaign depends on it.

Clinton: Well, you know, Al, that depends on what the meaning of the word "lewd" is.

Gore: Bill, would you get with the goddamned program and give me an answer?

Clinton: Pardon me?

Gore: I said get with the goddamned program.

Clinton: No, I mean, if I ever get into any more trouble, can you pardon me?

Gore: I told you, you can always count on me. [Gore winks at Regis.]

Clinton: It was a cigar.

Gore: Thanks, Bill. I'm going to go with cigar, Regis.

Regis: You're absolutely right! You're now a Sunday talk show pundit! And you're just one question away from the highest office in the land. Here it is: Which of the following species is the most endangered? A) the spotted owl, B) the beta male, C) the Reform Party faithful or D) the Clinton loyalist?

Gore: I should probably do a quick focus group on this.

Regis: OK, we'll ask the audience ... and 60 percent say B.

Gore: That's how I was leaning, and polls never lie, so I'll go with beta male. I'm told they're unelectable.

Regis: [Long pause, dramatic music] I'm sorry, the correct answer is the Clinton loyalist. You fell just short of the presidency, but you won't be walking away empty-handed. You came here as vice president and you get to leave as a pundit.

Gore: I'll take it.

Regis: That's all for tonight. We hope you'll join us again next week when we bring out a new field of candidates to compete for our nation's highest office. Also be sure to check your local listings next month, when we fly in 50 women from around the country to claw it out on "Who Wants to Be a Presidential Mistress." And for those of you out there aspiring to public service, give us a call. You may be selected purely at random to compete on the upcoming show "Who Wants to Be a Supreme Court Justice." Thanks for watching, and God bless the United States of America.

By Daniel Kurtzman

Daniel Kurtzman is a Washington writer.

MORE FROM Daniel Kurtzman

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Al Gore George W. Bush