Connie Chung's Serenade Gag A Web Hit

This frame grab from video, supplied by MSNBC, shows Connie Chung singing a song on the finale of MSNBC's "Weekends with Maury & Connie" show Saturday, June 17, 2006. (AP Photo/MSNBC,HO) AP

Connie Chung's off-key torch song that capped off her short-lived talk show, "Weekends with Maury & Connie," is now the most popular clip of the week on the video Web site YouTube.

But still many viewers seemed perplexed, if not appalled, at her choice.

"Asian America watched in horror as the wax-like figure of Connie Chung melted into a public spectacle," writes the Asian-American Web site TripmasterMonkey. "We are gathered here to mourn the death of Connie Chung's journalism career."

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 413,000 people had viewed the video on YouTube, far more than the viewership of her Saturday morning show, which averaged 232,000. She hosted the show with her husband Maury Povich, and it lasted less than six months.

In the 2 minute 48 second video, Chung, a former co-anchor of the CBS Evening News, sang a parody of Bob Hope's signature song, "Thanks for the Memory" to Povich. She was dressed in a strapless evening gown and elbow-length white gloves.

To see the video, click here.

Chung sequentially stood, sat and lay on a piano (complete with pianist, though he never played) and sang such lyrics as "Thanks for the memories/We came to do a show/For very little dough/By little I mean/I could make more working on skid row/That's cable TV" and "The thing I love the most/About hubby as co-host/Is all those other anchors/Were as dull as melba toast."

After the performance, Chung said she was trying to be funny.

"All I want to be sure of is that viewers understood it was a giant self-parody," Chung told The Associated Press Tuesday. "If anyone took it seriously, they really need to get a life."

The performance was clearly meant to be a joke. The lyrics were written by Lizz Winsted, co-creator of "The Daily Show," and Chung's executive producer. Further, Chung's routine included slapstick, such as groaning when she rolled off the piano, shaking her backside at the camera, and collapsing on the floor at the end of the song.

Such routines are a kind of tradition for Chung, who says she picked up her song parody technique from Broadway music writer Douglas Bernstein. He has written what she calls her "ridiculous repertoire" through the years.

Chung, 59, sang a similar tune for Dan Rather (with whom she briefly co-anchored the CBS Evening News in 1993-1994) when he was given an award in 2001. She also did the same for Barbara Walters (with whom she worked at ABC's "20/20"), when Walters left for "The View."

But Saturday's act came off as strange and almost creepy, leaving many unsure of its intent.

"Wow, this is a joke right? Or meant to be slightly humorous?" wrote one poster on YouTube.com. Another exclaimed, "Was there no producer on set?? Where was Maury??" Several posters assumed she was drunk.

Chung assured the New York Times that she was stone-cold sober. "I should have had a drink before I went on," she laughed.

And perhaps Chung will have the last laugh. As one YouTube poster commented: "This is the most media attention 'The Con' has got in a long time."
By Amy Sara Clark
  • Amy Clark

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