Since 1928, except for a few years during World War II, the Oklahoma City Gridiron Club has taken time annually to look at and laugh at the previous year's headlines.
That tradition adds another double-title chapter with “Washington Is Cooking Our Goose,” or “How Many Nuts Are In An Occu-Pie,” as the 2012 show is scheduled for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Lyric's Plaza Theatre, 1727 NW 16.
This year's parody takes on the theme of the TV series Hee-Haw, and is hosted by Gridiron members portraying Roy Clark and Buck Owens. They are joined by other popular characters from the show, including Junior Samples and Minnie Pearl.
The show opens with Dolly Parton singing “Mule Skinner Blues.” Later, cast members, portraying various presidential candidates who dropped out of the GOP race, sing “Where Oh Where Am I Tonight?” and Congress joins President Barack Obama in singing “Gloom, Despair and Our Economy.”
This year, 99 percenters and a well-worn campaign trail are all federal scene subjects. On the state/local level, shaking during earthquakes, baking in the summer heat, and the water rights issue all go from headlines to the Gridiron stage.
Reince Preibus, Rick Perry and a clogging Nancy Pelosi are panned in the production's federal portion. In state/local scenes, Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis and University of Oklahoma President David Boren put Bedlam to music.
The Gridiron Club raises money for Oklahoma journalism students. The show's cast consists of members and former members of the media and their family and friends. Last year, the club distributed $8,000 in scholarships among four students.
In the opening act, Roy and Buck — wearing plaid shirts, overalls and straw hats — provide an overview to the tune of Toby Keith's “I Love This Bar.”
Roy sings: “Oh, we got winners, we got criers, Wall Street Occupiers ... ” and Buck soon follows with “We got movers, we got shakers, And lots of us became ‘quakers.'”
Although based on a country music show theme, the tunes come from various music genres.
In the state and local scene, some television meteorologists are portrayed singing about the summer heat to the tune of the Bee Gees' “Stayin' Alive.”
The chorus includes the lines: “People started dripping and you wish we could be strippin,' 'Cause we're sweatin' alive, sweatin' alive ... ”
After the separate federal and state/local scenes, the production draws from both. Harold Camping, adding machine in hand, calculates the end of the world as May 21, 2011, then comes back later predicting the end as Oct. 21, 2011.
But that bit neither marks the end of the world nor the show.
Obama and Gov. Mary Fallin sing to the tune of Billy Joel's “It's Still Rock and Roll to Me.”
Obama begins: “Whaddaya think about the job I'm doing? It's too early to tell for sure. What'll I do to get in touch with the people? Maybe go on a nationwide tour.”
Fallin follows: “Here in the state, the economy's a honey, Devon and Chesapeake makin' lotsa money, Everybody's talkin' 'bout the MAPS plan.”
And a chorus adds, “Funny, but it's still politics to me.”