Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller brought their “Don’t Be a Pinhead” tour to Memphis Saturday night at the Orpheum. It was a sold out crowd of mostly older people in the audience, but a lively crowd that didn’t hesitate to laugh, boo and shout out throughout the performances.
Though they agreed on most issues, Miller and O’Reilly came from two different places in their outlooks. For Miller, the country as it was envisioned is over. He doesn’t see a chance of turning it around. “I’m afraid to start weeping because I might not stop. Isn’t there some Memphis song about that?” Miller thinks we have gone too far and plans on spending the rest of his life wearing a metaphorical yellow slicker and hoping to dodge whatever comes his way.
O’Reilly is not so pessimistic. He agrees that we’ve gone too far, but thinks the pendulum will swing back enough to correct some of our problems. Both points were highlighted in their comedic deliveries.
Miller came out first to do a solo standup routine. He bounced from topic to topic as is his style, highlighting the absurdity of green hotels – “I don’t want to use just one towel. I use a towel just to raise the nap on another towel.” He explained his new clean shaven look as a protest against the water shortage in California.
He tackled climate change: “We have three months when it’s cold, then it gets warmer. Then three months of hot, then cooler.” He doubts the people 100 years ago really had accurate thermometers or any kind of standards in taking the temperature.
He mentioned he had gone into a Starbucks recently to discuss race relations only to be told “Sir, that promotion’s over.”
Miller worries about Iran, Israel and the Middle East turmoil. “Arabs will want to go to the moon the day after Israel sets up shop there.”
On Hillary going into Chipotle he mimicked “I’ll have a burr-uh-toe.” Maybe she should get Bill to join her on the Scooby van. Only he envisions a sign: “Don’t come knockin’ if Scooby’s a’rockin.”
He marveled at yesterday’s revolutionaries, like Bill Ayers, now silver pony tailed. “Can you imagine Ayers getting into an argument with the clerk at CVS over his lipitor copay? Do you think Che would be like that?”
Miller contrasted Obama with President Bush, who he considers a “cool dude.” On several occasions he got to spend some time with Bush and appreciated that 43 was down to earth and at peace with who he is. He described accompanying him in the limo on the way to a fund raiser in LA. The whole highway was shut down for them, an emptiness any traveler on the freeway never gets to experience. Bush told me how it was armored from any missiles and the underguard could withstand any explosions, Miller said. “I told him that was good because I had Mexican for lunch.”
On another occasion, Miller traveled to Philadelphia to introduce Bush at an event. The president offered to let him spend the day with him at the White House. “I’m a next door neighbor of Oprah Winfrey’s and she invited me to her birthday party, so I had to tell him I couldn’t. Bush said ‘What’s more important than the president?'” When Miller told him about Winfrey, Bush teased, “Oooh, Oprah Winfrey!”
Miller targeted Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as well. When O’Reilly took the stage he mentioned them, too. He spoke of meeting Ms. Pelosi at a White House event. O’Reilly said he bumped into her and she didn’t have any idea of who he was. He took the opportunity to invite her on his show, which she accepted. Meanwhile, her husband did know who he was and started shaking his head no and shaking all over. When O’Reilly followed up the next day with a phone call, Pelosi’s people unsurprisingly said she had no time for such an interview.
O’Reilly, who said the Secret Service snickers when he’s around in silent approval of him, gave a lengthy story on his charity work and presidents. After seeing the five presidents attending the opening of the Bush library, O’Reilly decided that if he could get each one of them to sign ten photos of the event he could sell them for charity. He sneaked into a big Democrat donor event for Obama and put himself in line to speak with him. When Obama got to him he looked surprised, but promised to sign the photos. The next day he did – but only nine of them. O’Reilly obtained the signatures of the two Bushes and Clinton, but Carter’s office balked. They put him off, saying Carter couldn’t get to it for three months. O’Reilly phoned back and told them if he didn’t get it in a few days, he’d go on the Factor and blast Carter. They complied within a day.
O’Reilly had advice for 2016 presidential candidates. First, he highlighted what went wrong in 2012. Ron Paul was wearing these shirts with collars so big he got lost in them. Perry he chided for his brain freeze. “During the debate my 10 year old was yelling ‘it’s the EPA!’ when Perry couldn’t name the third department he’d dump if elected. I told Rick Santorum in the elevator at Fox News, ‘You’ve got 7 kids. When they start asking the birth control issue go to something else!’
Tomorrow: Why O’Reilly says Romney lost the election and his advice for the 2016 candidates.