The wit of William F. Buckley

The legendary conservative did a wicked impression of the Dalai Lama

Published July 1, 2010 3:30PM (EDT)

William F. Buckley
William F. Buckley

From National Review Online's The Corner, a charming anecdote illustrating the legendary wit of William F. Buckley (emphasis added):

Larry King [Rick Brookhiser]

My favorite Larry King memory was New Year’s Eve, coming into 2000. King interviewed the Dalai Lama. Three things made it special.

1) Some sort of odd time delay between King’s studio and Dharmsala. King would bellow a question, and the Dalai Lama would give his big-nice-mutt smile until it came through.

2) The Dalai Lama’s rudimentary English (WFB once imitated it as "Me likee peace").

3) King’s assumption that the Dalai Lama was a Moslem, until the little man in his ear piece corrected him.

Rob Long material, from beginning to end!

07/01 10:39 AM

Oh, that WFB was such a card! No matter what you thought of his politics, you always had to admire his grace and erudition. I'll never forget his impression of Dr. King -- you've never heard a more moving rendition of "Camptown Races" in your life.

I think we can safely say that old Buckley's spirit is alive and well in the modern conservative movement.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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