If there was going to be a moment of levity during Donald Trump’s Cabinet hearings, leave it to Rick Perry to provide it.
The former Texas governor is the president-elect’s pick to be energy secretary, and he had a relatively smooth hearing with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
But it was his humorous exchange with Sen. Al Franken that may be the most memorable of his testimony. The Minnesota Democrat began his questioning by thanking Perry for coming by to chat with him prior to his hearing.
“Thank you so much for coming into my office. Did you enjoy meeting me?” the former Saturday Night Live comedian deadpanned.
“I hope you are as much fun on that dais as you were on your couch,” Perry responded. It took a beat, but both Franken and Perry realized how that could be interpreted.
“May I rephrase that, sir?” Perry quipped, breaking down in laughter, as did the rest of the audience and senators in the usually serious hearing room. “Well, I think we’ve found our Saturday Night Live sound bite.”
It’s not the first time Perry has provided fodder for comics. His first presidential bid in 2012 saw its demise after he infamously forgot the name of the third federal department he would want to eliminate as president. It was the Energy Department — the one he is now nominated to run.
“I can’t, the third,” Perry finally conceded after stumbling for several seconds. “Oops.”
SNL had fun with that infamous moment.
Perry made a second bid for president this cycle, but his campaign never got off the ground, and he dropped out before the primary voting even began. He did find something to do, though, before Trump offered him this current one — as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. He wasn’t successful in that either, but he did have a lot of fun doing it.