Gridiron Club Spoofs Iran Affair in Annual Review : Songsters to Reagan: ‘Try to Remember’

Associated Press

Swaying to the beat of “Hello, Dolly” and “Try to Remember,” Washington’s Gridiron Club spoofed Lt. Col. Oliver L. North and President Reagan in a satirical review Saturday night that focused on the Iran- contra affair.

The annual dinner--a white-tie banquet that is one of the city’s most venerable social events--also featured a skit in which journalists pretending to be Democrats sang to the tune of “With a Little Bit of Luck":

The Lord above said we must act as statesmen,

And to the Constitution be devout.


The Lord above says, ‘Expedite the hearings,’ but

With a little bit of luck, with a little bit of luck,

We will find a way to string things out.

Gridiron President James McCartney of Knight-Ridder Inc. said in the prepared text of his welcome: “We’ve been starting this dinner in the dark for 102 years, but we never dreamed that the White House would like the idea of keeping the President in the dark so much that officials would make it a national policy.”


Cabinet Officials Invited

President and Mrs. Reagan were among dozens of luminaries who attended. Others invited to the review included Vice President George Bush, Cabinet officials, Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, foreign diplomats and at least 10 governors.

The Gridiron guests heard club journalists spoof former National Security Council aide North to the tune of “Hello, Dolly” with these words:

I’m no Nero, I’m a hero

I did nothing wrong.

I found these nice mullahs

Paying top dollahs . . .

Read a line from Reagan’s Scripture now and then.


Piece of cake, fellas

Just for freedom’s sake, fellas.

I would love to do it all again.


Oh no, Ollie

Oh no, no, no Ollie,

That’s not exactly what we had in mind.

So take the stand, Ollie


Raise your hand, Ollie. . . .

To the tune of the Beach Boys hit “Barbara Ann,” a character modeled on former National Security Adviser John M. Poindexter sang “Let’s Arm Iran,” and the Gridiron’s Tower Commission, to the tune “Try to Remember,” sang to the President:

Try to remember, the time in September, when you said yes, or was it golly.

Congressional Democrats did not miss the spotlight. One skit had a performer playing Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia singing, to the tune of “Country Boy,” these words:

I’m a man who follows the social trends,

Once wore a white hood but he’s made amends.

By givin’ little breakfasts for my friends,

Nice touch for a country boy.

Additionally, Wall Street and the Supreme Court came in for the Gridiron treatment.