Blagojevich makes cameo in play mocking him

July 21, 2010 9:56:30 AM PDT
After months of being the butt of the joke, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich enjoyed his time in the spotlight poking fun of himself.He joined the cast of Second City Saturday for a one-night-only starring role in the comedy 'Rod Blagojevich Superstar.'

The former governor was a good sport, coming out to see the Second City act that skewers almost every aspect of his life, from his wife to his political career.

The audience greeted Blagojevich warmly at the start of the show.

"Where were you when I was impeached," Blagojevich said to the audience as members applauded.

Once Blagojevich took his seat, the comedic pummeling began. Many could be seen straining to see the former governor's reaction.

A few of the lines he had to endure Saturday night: a song with lyrics, "Rod Blagojevich superstar, you're just as nuts as we think you are," and another tune that went, "As governors go, you make Sarah Palin look bright."

The actress playing Patti Blagojevich caressed her famous husband's mane of hair while belting out so many swear words ABC7 Chicago lost count.

Some say the former governor laughed a couple of times but was fairly stone-faced throughout most of the show.

When asked afterwards if he felt bad, the actor who played Blagojevich said:

"I was nervous going in, and I think we kind of expected that he knew. I mean, he did know that it wasn't going to be a celebration of his life. But at the same time, I feel like we play him pretty endearing, and by the end of the thing, he's the anti-hero, sort of, too. So, part of him really enjoyed being the star of the show," said actor Joey Bland.

"I said, 'We know we're embellishing.' He was pretty gracious about the whole thing," said actress Lori McClain, who plays Patti Blagojevich. "I couldn't look at him, like I don't want to hurt his feelings. I know that's strange, but I just couldn't look."

One audience member said she saw the governor stone-faced and said she felt bad for him.

Blagojevich did go onstage at the end of the show and he reminded everybody that it was a fictitious portrayal, he said. He did so in some pretty colorful language, that drew a big laugh.

ABC7 Chicago was originally told that Rod Blagojevich would come out and talk afterwards and offer his review of the performance. But after seeing it, he decided against it.

For once, though, Illinois' being a laughing stock will actually benefit someone. ABC7 Chicago is told proceeds from Saturday night's show will benefit a charity in Gilda Radner's name which helps cancer survivors.


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