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Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Late breaking news!!!
This just in from Paris...Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead:


The death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco during the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975 served as the source of one of the first catch phrases from SNL to enter the general lexicon.

Franco lingered near death for weeks before dying. On slow news days, United States network television news casters sometimes noted that Franco was still alive, or not yet dead. The imminent death of Franco was a headline story on the NBC news for a number of weeks prior to his death on November 20.

After Franco's death, Chevy Chase, reader of the news on Saturday Night Live's comedic news segment Weekend Update, announced the dictator's death and read a quote from Richard Nixon praising Franco as a good friend of the United States; as an ironic counterpoint to this, a picture was displayed behind Chase, showing Franco standing alongside Adolf Hitler.

From that point on, Chase made it clear that SNL would get the last laugh at Franco's expense. "This breaking news just in", Chase would announce-- "General ssimo Francisco Franco is still dead!"...Chase would repeat the story at the end of the news segment, aided by Garrett Morris, "head of the New York School for the Hard of Hearing", whose "aid" in repeating the story involved cupping his hands around his mouth and shouting the headline....

[A] possible precedent is in an issue of National Lampoon from 1973 that began with a picture of Eisenhower waving, with the caption "Hi kids, I'm still dead!"



Informed of Franco's death, Chase said the following:


I don't like being cute. I don't like being fluffy. And I want some friggin' hands.


Actually, he said that in "Oh Heavenly Dog."

For the record, I don't know if the French President ever praised Franco.





OK, here's why you need to follow my links:


Yasser Arafat (news - web sites), who triumphantly forced his people's plight into the world spotlight but failed to achieve his lifelong quest for Palestinian statehood, died Thursday at age 75.

The French military hospital where he had been treated since Oct. 29 said he died at 3:30 a.m. The Palestinian leader spent his final days there in a coma. Doctors would not disclose what ailment killed Arafat.

In the first comment from an Israeli official, Justice Minister Yosef Lapid blamed Arafat for global terrorism and the failure to achieve Middle East peace, but expressed hope of improved relations under new leadership.

"I hated him for the deaths of Israelis. ... I hated him for not allowing the peace process ... to move forward," Lapid told Israel Radio....

Tens of thousands of Palestinians poured into the streets of the Gaza Strip in a spontaneous show of grief. Dozens of gunmen fired into the air, and marchers waved Palestinian flags. Mosques blared Quranic verses and children burned tires on the main streets, covering the skies in black smoke. People pasted posters of Arafat on building walls....

Revered by his own people, Arafat was reviled by others. He was accused of secretly fomenting attacks on Israelis while proclaiming brotherhood and claiming to have put terrorism aside. Many Israelis felt the paunchy 5-foot, 2-inch Palestinian's real goal remained the destruction of the Jewish state.

Arafat became one of the world's most familiar faces after addressing the U.N. General Assembly in New York in 1974, when he entered the chamber wearing a holster and carrying a sprig. "Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun," he said. "Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand."

Two decades later, he shook hand at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on a peace deal that formally recognized Israel's right to exist while granting the Palestinians limited self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The pact led to the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for Arafat, Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

But the accord quickly unraveled amid mutual suspicions and accusations of treaty violations, and a new round of violence that erupted in the fall of 2000 has killed some 4,000 people, three-quarters of them Palestinian....

A resilient survivor of war with Israel, assassination attempts and even a plane crash, Arafat was born Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat Al-Qudwa on Aug. 4, 1929, the fifth of seven children of a Palestinian merchant killed in the 1948 war over Israel's creation. There is disagreement whether he was born in Gaza or in Cairo, Egypt.

Educated as an engineer in Egypt, Arafat served in the Egyptian army and then started a contracting firm in Kuwait. It was there that he founded the Fatah movement, which became the core of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

After the Arabs' humbling defeat by Israel in the six-day war of 1967, the PLO thrust itself on the world's front pages by sending its gunmen out to hijack airplanes, machine gun airports and seize Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

"As long as the world saw Palestinians as no more than refugees standing in line for U.N. rations, it was not likely to respect them. Now that the Palestinians carry rifles the situation has changed," Arafat explained.

The media continues its increasingly bizarre death watch of terrorist, and mass murderer par excellence, Yassir Arafat. I'm just waiting for the Saturday Night Weekend Update where they say, "Yassir Arafat is still dead." Memories, or in my case re-runs.
Mr. Hamas: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this Arafat what I visited in this very French hospital...

M. Le Docteur: Oh yes, the, uh, the Arafat... What's,uh... What's wrong with him?

Mr. Hamas: I'll tell you what's wrong with him, my lad. 'E's dead, and I can't get anyone to sign this terrorist payroll, that's what's wrong with him!

M. Le Docteur: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.

Mr. Hamas: Look, Froggy, I know a dead Arafat when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

M. Le Docteur: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable Arafat, the Arafat, idn'it, ay? Beautiful headgear, manly face stubble! A right shiny fellow once you get past the facial lesions.

Mr. Hamas: The face stubble don't enter into it. He's stone dead.

M. Le Docteur: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!

Mr. Hamas: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the bed) 'Ello, Mister Arafat! I've got a lovely fresh bribe from Jacques Chirac and a tasty meat patty for you if you show...

(M. Le Docteur hits the cage)

M. Le Docteur: There, he moved!

Mr. Hamas: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!

M. Le Docteur: I never!!

Mr. Hamas: Yes, you did!

M. Le Docteur: I never, never did anything...

Mr. Hamas: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO ARAFAT!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!

(Takes Arafat out of the bed and thumps his head on the counter. Throws him up in the air and watches him plummet to the floor.)

Mr. Hamas: Now that's what I call a dead Arafat.

M. Le Docteur: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!

Mr. Hamas: STUNNED?!?

M. Le Docteur: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Arafats stun easily, major.

Mr. Hamas: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That Arafat is definitely deceased, and when I checked him in here a few days ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged effort to erase the state of Isreal and all Jews from the face of the Earth.

M. Le Docteur: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.



Heh.

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