Austan Goolsbee, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, took part in the “DC's Funniest Celebrity” contest last night at a Washington comedy club. Goolsbee won the contest with a routine that mimicked the famous “Mr. Subliminal” skits on “Saturday Night Live” in which Goolsbee said something in his normal voice and then revealed his inner thoughts sotto voce. For example, Goolsbee said that veterans of the Obama campaign “share this bond, and we came here because we knew that the president had a lot of things to do. Number one on the list, we wanted to make sure — all the Clinton people got their jobs back — that we were going to do something to help the country.” (Video of Goolsbee's performance is below, from the Politico.)
Goolsbee described how he had worked with Obama when both were on the faculty at the University of Chicago. “The president, I'm happy to say, is still pretty much the same regular guy that he always was in Chicago, and that makes me feel good,” Goolsbee told the audience. “He and I always kind of got along, we had kind of the same temperament, we had the same sense of humor. We really could see eye to eye. We would always joke that we were the skinny guys with the funny names.”
“Look,” Goolsbee joked, “I'm not saying that in 1961 we were, like, separated at birth — in a village in Kenya — what I'm saying is that we're friends.”
Goolsbee also joked about how the incoming president's team faced the economic crisis last January. “When we came in office, it was not that fun of a time to be here in the economy,” Goolsbee said. “But it was OK, because as we took office, it was an all-star team of economists and we basically knew what to do — panic — what we were coming in, was let's react the right way when things happen — AAAAAAAAARGH! — let's just sort it out and start from the fundamentals — how do we throw money at this problem? — and the thing is, most of the lessons aren't recent…so we kind of had to go back and look at the old textbooks — Karl Marx, Trotsky — “
Goolsbee won first prize over a contestant roster that included “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher.