overhaul / undertow

Thursday, March 13, 2003

HA ha ha ha hee hee hoo ha....

From the Orange County Register (about half way down the page):

"Was that really the president of France on KROQ/106.7 FM Wednesday morning?

Members of the radio station's morning team, Kevin and Bean, insist it was. Impersonating comedian Jerry Lewis, KROQ DJ Ralph Garman called the president's office and, after a long hold, was put in touch with Jacques Chirac.

"It was NOT a hoax," Garman wrote in an e-mail. But he said station management had asked him not to speak about it yet; as of Wednesday afternoon, KROQ said that the matter was being investigated, but otherwise had no comment.

Garman had called the president's office and, after a dead-on Lewis impersonation with the secretary, was put on hold. The station then went to commercials and songs. When Kevin and Bean returned, they said that, to their amazement, Chirac had answered and they had recorded the conversation.

Garman seemed honestly flustered during the exchange, dropping any punchlines and simply saying that he was worried about French-American relations. Chirac said he was worried, too, but said that the two countries would always be friends, even if they didn't agree about Iraq.

Chirac - if it was him - initially expressed skepticism that he was really talking to Lewis, but after Garman spoke, Chirac said, "I recognize your voice." At the end of the conversation, the president said he was "a big fan" of the comedian.

If it wasn't a hoax, KROQ officials could be worried about fallout from France, or Lewis, or both. In January, a radio station in Miami was criticized when its morning team used a tape of Fidel Castro's voice to get through to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez."


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