Here's Mort fielding questions from AOL fans

Copyright 1996 Oldsmobile; licensed to America Online, Inc.

OnlineHost: Your host this evening is JoEllenMN (AOLiveMC7).

OnlineHost: MORT SAHL stood up 40 years ago and told people what was on his
mind. They laughed. They're still laughing. At the "hungry I" in San
Francisco, where everyone else wore a tuxedo and talked about their
mother-in-law, Sahl wore a sweater and talked about presidents. Ladies and
gentlemen, Mort Sahl!

AOLiveMC7: Welcome, Mr. Mort Sahl!

Sahl: Hi, everybody...

AOLiveMC7: Are you ready for some audience questions this fine evening?

Sahl: Absolutely!

AOLiveMC7: Great! Our first question is from RUSmart:

Question: Hi Mort! How on earth did you get Gene McCarthy to appear on-stage
with you?

Sahl: Gene McCarthy actually appeared with me when I did the show in New
York 2 years ago, and we just did it as inspiration then, and we are doing it
as inspiration now. It's always funny. For instance, we were in New York when
Nixon passed away and all the liberal papers eulogized him, and I said to
McCarthy, "How do you explain that?" And McCarthy said, "They buried the
wrong guy."

AOLiveMC7: Our next question is from PeterLW:

Question: What do you think of this year's campaign?

Sahl: Well it's very good for me, but it's not so good for the country.
Well, in other words, there is great opportunity for humor. So when Colin
Powell says, "I want to restore the American Dream," then I can add, "without
awakening the American people if possible."

AOLiveMC7: The next question is from AtlTuneMan:

Question: Is McCarthy funny? Or does he play the straight man?

Sahl: No, McCarthy is past funny ... he is brilliant and his humor is
like none other. Example: when a reporter asked him how he could run, because
he had no followers, he said, "Jesus only had 12, and one of them turned out
to be unreliable." I think people have forgotten when candidates had a sense
of humor because they are looking at these two guys ... especially Clinton.

OnlineHost: Stillake has this question:

Question: Who's gonna win the election?

Sahl: I don't think either one of them can win. If Clinton ran
unopposed, he would lose.

OnlineHost: GoofBall has sent this question:

Question: Any late night talk show in store for you, Mort?

Sahl: Yeah, on the burner now, and this is a direct result of the
network people coming into the Tiffany Theater to see my show in Hollywood.
The show goes to September 21st, and on October 4th we open at the Alcazar
Theater in San Francisco.

OnlineHost: CLawson47 wants to know:

Question: What's the best political joke of the current presidential
campaign, other than the two candidates being the best joke?

Sahl: Well, let's see ... the best joke ... President Clinton told Dick
Morris that he could continue to see Sherry Rowlands but not to have a
cigarette afterwards.

OnlineHost: KeritTop has sent this question:

Question: Give your honest opinion on Bill/Hillary/Al Gore

Sahl: LOL... Read "Compromise" by Terry Reed ... That's about the
president and his wife. And as for Gore ... I conversed with him once, and he
asked me what I was doing spiritually, and I told him I was trying to talk to
God but I have not gotten through. And Gore said to me, "Well, do you have
Windows 95?" So I guess God is online, too!

OnlineHost: JumpJamMa wants to know:

Question: What is the funniest thing you have heard about Bob Dole?

Sahl: That the Secret Service has to use jumper cables to start him in
the morning.

OnlineHost: This also from JumpJamMa:

Question: Mr. Sahl, what do you think of Jesse Helms staying in office for
another term?

Sahl: LOL ... Well, you know Mark Russell says that when the president
heard that Morris was with a prostitute, the president said, "I know, he
worked for Jesse Helms!"

OnlineHost: RA1NBOWE sends this inquiry:

Question: Is President Clinton liberal enough for you?

Sahl: In Clinton's own words, I am a new kind of Democrat -- a

OnlineHost: MICKMAC wants to know:

Question: Any thought on the present mayor of Chicago, especially in light
of his political pedigree?

Sahl: LOL ... Well, he belongs to a musical group called The Sons of the
Pioneers ... a western band.

OnlineHost: JudiNorth sends this inquiry:

Question: Has there ever been a politician that you liked? (Other than
McCarthy, of course.)

Sahl: Adlai Stevenson, Jack Kennedy, Justice William O. Douglas ... and
I have had many friends in that field ... Alexander Haig.

OnlineHost: GERRETJM asks:

Question: Do you think if President Clinton has another scandal or two he
can extend his lead over Bob Dole to 20%?

Sahl: LOL ... Well, I think Dole needs a scandal because it would
"humanize" his administration.

OnlineHost: LaDeeDah asks:

Question: Do you still do speech writing?

Sahl: Occasionally, I helped a couple of district attorneys, and a
governor, and some of my friends in political life. But I make all my
speeches now at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles.

OnlineHost: CURSE2525 asks:

Question: What do you think of some of these people like Al Franken and
Dennis Miller?

Sahl: I don't know. They have all said very nice things about me ... Al
on CSPAN and Dennis in various places. And I appreciate it and return the

OnlineHost: ARINWULF asks:

Question: Do you think a viable third party has a chance to exist?

Sahl: Yes, I do ... and I believe as Perot does.

Question: Don't you think Perot is the funniest of the candidates since
Lyndon LaRouche?

Sahl: No, I think he is the brightest of the candidates, and he is a
good friend of mine. I am surprised that the person asking this question has
been fooled by the media to believe this. That job was done by professionals
who are drawing public money to discredit him from the White House and the
Dole campaign. He is the most capable man to run for President.

Sahl: Clinton does not know anything about giving people jobs. He is
surrounded by people who are poets, philosophers, and bee-keepers. Ralph
Nader is another able man who points out that the pursuit of happiness is the
pursuit of justice.

OnlineHost: GatoBud asks this:

Question: What do you think of Howard Stern.

Sahl: Nothing. I accept him on the air the way he presents himself, just
the way I accept Don Imus. But I have been working with Imus for the last
three weeks reporting the conventions.

OnlineHost: TCymet has sent this question:

Question: Is Saddam Hussein funny, or is he too dangerous to be funny?

Sahl: No one is above humor. There is always a joke. The bad news is:
we might go to war. The good news is: all the oil companies' stocks went up

OnlineHost: RA1NBOWE asks:

Question: Will you bring your show to the east coast? We love you.

Sahl: Well, yes, I will probably be at Hasty Pudding in Cambridge, Mass.
in November. And love you back!

OnlineHost: Algebra31 comments:

Comment: Is it true you are going to San Francisco this fall?

Sahl: Yes, on October 4th at the Alcazar, and it will be wonderful to be
home again. That's where I started it all.

OnlineHost: LEWDIS sends this inquiry:

Question: What's the funniest story you've ever told ... who'd you tell it
to ... and please repeat it.

Sahl: Well ... I'll tell you the latest story I have ever told ... I
told it to the audience at the Tiffany last night. I was having dinner at the
Reagan White House. Bush was the heir apparent, but Dole was ambitious. Liddy
Dole got up at the end of dinner and said, "I am calling it an early night. I
am going to have a bubble bath," and put her hand on Dole's shoulder, "and
then I am going to bed with the next President of the United States." And
Barbara Bush said to Mrs. Dole, "Are you having an affair with George?"

OnlineHost: Donald312 asks this:

Question: I worked with Mort in San Francisco TV in late 60's, early 70s.
Has he mellowed yet?

Sahl: LOL ... I am exhausted, but I am not mellow. I hope this is from
Don Sherwood!

OnlineHost: HowA2 has sent this question:

Question: Any thoughts regarding Hillary's influence upon the presidency?

Sahl: Oh sure. She just made a tour of 11 countries, none of which have
extradition treaties with the US.

OnlineHost: Ihatemath wants another story about Al Gore:

Question: Tell a funny joke about Al Gore. Are you really here, is this like

Sahl: His favorite dinner companion is Yoda!

OnlineHost: Rschmoo asks:

Question: What do you think of the Clinton military action?

Sahl: It's making up for his lack of service in Vietnam. In a great big

OnlineHost: Dahawk1 sends this our way:

Question: Finding you online tonight is very strange. I was thinking about
you this morning. I had no idea that I would sign on and here you would be.
The reason I was thinking about you was, I was wondering if you ever worked
with Jim Garrison directly?

Sahl: Jim Garrison's book, "On the Trail of the Assassins," the book is
dedicated to me. We were personal friends for 20 years. I worked for him in
the police department in New Orleans, and 2/3 of the material out of Oliver
Stone's movie is out of my files at the police station, which leads me to
believe that he didn't read the book, he only bought it. When people scoff at
that investigation or make movies about, they tend to overlook that many good
people got hurt out there, and some of my friends got killed down there.

OnlineHost: MBalk6797 asks:

Question: Have you ever worked with Marty Garbus, the lawyer who represented
Lenny Bruce?

Sahl: No, I never did meet him,, but I was a good friend of Lenny's.

OnlineHost: BAssfrk asks:

Question: We were just wondering how many government agencies it would take
to change a light bulb and how long would it take?

Sahl: LOL ... Well Clinton does have the money, so it doesn't matter.

OnlineHost: NMCLOU would like to chat about a Perot presidency:

Question: Back to Perot, if elected how effective could he be with the
present Congress?

Sahl: Well, the president we have now was total ineffective, so Perot
could only do better. That's the only direction he can go in. Perot said,
"When I was growing up in Texas, every kid had a gun, he just didn't bring it
to school."

OnlineHost: A comment from TwoHogan:

Comment: TwoHogan: Man, the hungry I, that was when things were cool---it
was a great place to see you.

Sahl: LOL ... I did 15 years there, and the greatest man I ever met was
the boss, Enrico Banducci.

OnlineHost: A comment from Blzbubb:

Comment: The Republicans keep getting more specific. First a Bush, then a
pineapple ... hopefully in 2000 they'll run a pina colada.

Sahl: Well, that's promising, isn't it? The difference between the
parties is largely about abortion. The Democrats don't want anyone to be
born, but if you are, they will take care of you from the cradle to the
grave. The Republicans don't mind if you are born if you assure them that you
don't plan to live long enough to collect your social security.

AOLiveMC7: Our time with Mr. Mort Sahl has drawn to a close this evening,
unfortunately. Any closing comments for our audience, Mort?

Sahl: Yes, I want to say if you are really wondering how on earth this
can be funny ... what I just said... come to the Tiffany Theater in Los
Angeles. And the phone number for tickets is (310) 289-2999. And that goes to
the 21st of September. And we open at the Alcazar Theater in San Francisco on
October 4th.

AOLiveMC7: Thank you, Mort Sahl, for spending some time with us tonight

Sahl: Remember, think about America but don't reach any conclusions.
Good night, all.

OnlineHost: Thanks for joining us in the Oldsmobile Celebrity Circle this
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OnlineHost: Copyright 1996 Oldsmobile; licensed to America Online, Inc.