"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Gridiron guffaws

The program cover to the annual OKC Gridiron show
"Friends, breathe this big of aroma:
Something always happens in Oklahoma.--Ancient Gridiron proverb

Journalists making fools of themselves, on purpose, for fun, and for scholarships for Oklahoma college journalism students--roasting news makers since 1928 and raising more than $500,000 for scholarships.

That's the Gridiron show and we attended Saturday night, at the Lyric Theatre in the Plaza District.
I enjoy it because of the political satire, and because I know so many of these people from working with and for the press here in Oklahoma.

Satire and music and costumes...hard to beat, and this year to the theme of "Hee Haw" (you can tell with that theme that many of the actors and much of the crowd is on the upside of 50--Hee Haw is ancient history--, but not all).

Best acts to me was the spoof on Garth Brooks singing "I've got friends" about his lawsuit at Integris. It got lots of laughs, and it's clear Integris didn't have any friends in the audience. The satire about Edmond was also rich, for those of us who live here and know, no matter which publication says so, it ain't perfect.

The cast's portrayal and comments on the current bunch of Republican presidential candidates were skewered correctly, a little more balance this year for a show that is always tougher on Democrats. ( I do wish they'd been more onto Mary Fallin as governor, but then, she is sort of boring anyway.)

Regardless, Bill Perry has Clinton dead on, for a thousand laughs always, especially advising Herman Cain,  Billie Rodley is a hoot as Hillary, and Bart Veugels' Obama is clever and fun. Some are almost professional singers and dancers, and most are just good old Okies having fun for a good cause.

I hesitate to mention any of them for fear of leaving out. I obviously have favorites, including some ex-students up there, and veteran  retired reporters (but you know who you are).

It's enough to be said about the quality of the show, the untold hours of writing and rehearsing, and the quality band, that virtually every state politician and candidate comes to be sure and be introduced one of  the three nights the show is running.

These people are so much fun. It's a side  of the press more people should know about. A great night. Thanks folks.

PS. And I didn't know it until the next morning, but I lost my phone while there. Panicked. Finally figured out it may have been at gridiron. Then about 11 am Sunday, I get a phone call from the UCO police. Gridironers found it, and dropped it off in Edmond for me. Thanks!

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