"A fun way to send him off" -- that's how Will Ferrell described his decision to reprise his George W. Bush impersonation and head to Broadway for a limited run in "You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush."
Ferrell and his producing partner Adam McKay, who wrote and will direct "You're Welcome America," promised in a satellite appearance at TCA on Friday that the show, which will have a live presentation March 14 on HBO, will probe W.'s record but also take a few fictional talents. Ferrell handled Bush-spoofing duties on "Saturday Night Live" in the early years of W.'s first term.
People who hate Bush will probably think it goes too easy on him, McKay said, and people who idolize him will probably think its way to harsh. But why do it now, just as Bush is exiting the Oval Office? "You're Welcome" begins its run at the Cort Theater on Barack Obama's inauguration day, Jan. 20.
McKay, in a moment of seriousness, said he thought it was "a healthy thing that after eight years people look back at this," and he opined that one reason W. and Dick Cheney felt free to run amok was that people tended to "ignore the crimes of past administrations" after a regime change in the White House.
The premise of the play is actually somewhat generous to the outgoing prez, McKay explained:
"Before you close the book of history, let the man have his say." With Ferrell as the conduit.