I-minus zero! Today, in addition to the swearing-in and speechifying, it is announced Obama will attend 10 inaugural balls: five for regions of the country, one apiece for the Obama and Biden home states, a Youth Ball, and the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball with the military.
But we are told there has been a change. The Transition Team realizes that some important constituencies had been left unaddressed, so five new Balls have been added to the program. It’ll make for a late night, but as he tackles the nation’s many problems, the new President will benefit from support gained by this pre-emptive pandering. Here are Obama’s new Balls:
1. Magicians’ Inaugural Ball. Obama hosts America’s top prestidigitators who honor America with card tricks, escapology, and women sawn in half. Gary Sinise will perform a patriotic monologue as Harry Houdini, and Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat will be transported from the Smithsonian so David Blaine can pull a rabbit out of it. Music will be performed by the New York Philharmonic, whom David Copperfield will summon out of thin air.
2. Friars’ Club Inaugural Roast. Who says you can’t make jokes about Obama? Gilbert Gottfried, George Takei, Lisa Lampanelli, Bob Saget and others give the new President a proper grilling. Members of the press are not invited as everyone will be “working blue.”
3. MTV Real World Cast Reunion Inaugural Ball. David “Puck” Rainey hosts the President and all 1,291 former Real World cast members, who will receive a Presidential fist bump and a commemorative plate. The event will be televised by a series of wall-mounted cameras and a roving crew, and the President will address the nation in the “confessional” format.
4. Inaugural Beer-Tasting. Black ties will be set aside as vendors of the nation’s top microbrews bring their best kegs to a heavily-guarded high school gymnasium for an informal tasting hosted by George Wendt. In the spirit of community service, 100 homeless people will be admitted to the event.
5. Bloggers’ Inaugural Ball. This is a “virtual” event, in which the new President will exchange best wishes, flame wars, and fiskings with invited bloggers over the internet from an undisclosed basement. Use of emoticons and images over 256K is strictly prohibited, and comments are closed.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 20, 2009