Rick Cleveland - Meeting Bill

Rick Cleveland's My Buddy Bill Season 1, Ep 0101 02/07/2008 Views: 403

During a tour of the White House, "The West Wing" writer Rick Cleveland recalls the first time he met Bill Clinton and his dog, Buddy. (4:09)

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I FIRST MET BILL CLINTONWHEN HE WAS STILL THE PRESIDENT.

I WAS IN WASHINGTONWITH SOME OF THE OTHER WRITERSFROM THE WEST WING

AND DURING A TOUROF THE OVAL OFFICE,

HE HAPPENED TO STEP INJUST AS I WASSCRATCHING HIS DOG, BUDDY,

BEHIND THE EARS.I HAVE A WAY WITH DOGS,

ESPECIALLY THE EASY-GOING BREEDSLIKE LABS AND RETRIEVERS.

WHEN I WAS A KID,DOGS USED TO GO

OUT OF THEIR WAYTO FOLLOW ME HOME.

DOGS KNOW THINGS.THEIR NOSES ARE SOMEWHERE

ON THE ORDER OF 500 TIMESMORE SENSITIVE THAN OUR NOSES

AND THAT MEANSIF YOU MEASURED INTELLIGENCEBY OLFACTORY SENSE ALONE,

DOGS WOULD BE OFF THE SCALEGENIUSES AND WE WOULD

- ALL HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS.- [LAUGHTER]

ANYWAY, BUDDY IS LYING ONTHIS RUG IN THE OVAL OFFICE,

THIS RUG WITHTHE PRESIDENTIAL SEAL ON IT,

AND I'M JUSTSCRATCHING HIM BEHIND THE EARS,

WHEN THE PRESIDENT COMES INCURIOUS TO MEET US

AND BUDDY PEES ALL OVER THE RUG.INSTINCTIVELY I ROLL BUDDY OVER,

AND TAKING THEALPHA DOG POSITION

PRACTICALLY ON TOP OF HIM,I SAY, "NO, BUDDY, BAD DOG!"

THE PRESIDENT LOOKS AT MEAND SAYS, "THANK YOU.

[LAUGHTER]

"I'LL HAVE TO GET SOMEONEIN HERE TO CLEAN THAT UP.

HE'S ALWAYSPIDDLING ON THAT RUG."IT TAKES ME A SECOND

TO REALIZE THATTHE PRESIDENT IS TALKING TO ME.

UP UNTIL THAT MOMENTI'D NEVER BEEN SPOKEN TO

BY SOMEONE WHO HAPPENEDTO BE THE PRESIDENT,

NOT TO MENTION THAT HE'D JUSTSAID THE WORD "PIDDLING."

[LAUGHTER]

WE ALL SHAKE HANDS WITH HIMAND THEN WE CHAT ABOUT BUDDY

AND I TELL HIM THATI HAVE AN UNCLE WHO USEDTO RAISE CHOCOLATE LABS

AND HOW THEY ARE A SOFTMOUTHED BREED AND BIG HEARTED

AND SMART AND LOYALAND GOOD WITH KIDS.

AND THEN WE TALKEDFOR A LITTLE WHILE ABOUT

WASHINGTON'S CHERRY BLOSSOMSIN BLOOM AND ABOUT OUR TV SHOW.

AND THEN SOMEONE COMES INTO CLEAN UP AFTER BUDDY

AND THE PRESIDENT POLITELYUSHERS US OUT OF THE OVAL OFFICE

AND SAYS GOODBYE.A FEW WEEKS LATER BACK IN L.A.,

I GET A CALL FROM THE PRESIDENT.HE TELLS ME, "I'M COMIN' OUT TO

"CALIFORNIA NEXT WEEK TO LOOK ATSOME HOUSES IN MALIBU

"AND I'M BRINGING BUDDY WITH MEAND I WONDERED WHETHER OR NOT

YOU COULD RECOMMENDA DOG FRIENDLY BEACHI COULD TAKE HIM TO."

I SAY, "MR. PRESIDENT,I'M PRETTY SURE THAT

"IF YOU WANT TO TAKEBUDDY FOR A WALK ON THE BEACH,

YOU'LL BE ABLE TO WALK HIM ONJUST ABOUT ANY BEACH YOU WANT."

[LAUGHTER]

HE SAYS, "YOU KNOW HOW MUCHTROUBLE I'VE GOTTEN INTO

"IN THE LAST YEAR OR TWO.THE LAST THING I NEED RIGHT NOW

"IS A PICTURE OF MEIN EVERY NEWSPAPER

"ILLEGALLY WALKINGMY DOG ON SOME

- 'NO DOGS ALLOWED' BEACH."- [LAUGHTER]

AND THEN HE SAYS,"I'D ASK DAVID GEFFEN,

"HE'S GOT A PLACE IN MALIBU.BUT RIGHT NOW,

HE'S SORT OF ONMY [BLEEP] LIST."

THE PRESIDENT JUST SAIDTHE WORD "[BLEEP] LIST" TO ME.

I START TO TELL HIM ABOUT THISLITTLE STRETCH OF BEACH I KNOW

OF JUST SOUTH OF POINT DUME.IT'S NOT EASY TO GET TO,

AND I'M NOT SUREIT'S STRICTLY A "LEGALLY"DOG-FRIENDLY BEACH.

BUT IT'S WHERE I TAKE MY GOLDENSHERLOCK ALL THE TIME.

AND SO FAR,WE'VE NEVER GOTTEN BUSTED.

AND I CAN'T BELIEVEI JUST USED THE WORD "BUSTED"

IN A CONVERSATIONWITH THE PRESIDENT.

AND THAT'S WHEN HE SAYS,"THAT SOUNDS PERFECT.

"WHAT'S YOUR DOG'S NAME,SHERLOCK?WHY DON'T YOU JOIN US?

WE'LL BE IN TOWN NEXT WEEK,HOW ABOUT THURSDAY AFTER LUNCH?"

SO I SAY, "OKAY."AND HE SAYS, "I'LL HAVESOMEONE FROM MY OFFICE

CALL YOU TO FIRM THINGS UP."AND THEN SAYS "GOODBYE,"

AND HANGS UP.

MY DAD WAS ANALCOHOLIC BUS DRIVER

AND MY MOM WAS A DRILL PRESSOPERATOR IN A FACTORY

AND I FLUNKED OUT OF THE11th GRADE THE FIRST TIME

FROM SMOKING TOO MUCH POTAND DITCHING SCHOOL.

AND NOW HERE IT IS20 PLUS YEARS LATER

AND I HAVE A DATE TO GO FORA DOG WALK ON THE BEACH

WITH THE [BLEEP] PRESIDENT OFTHE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.