Remarks at the All-Star Tribute to Ronald "Dutch" Reagan in Burbank, California

December 1, 1985

The President. Well -- [laughter] -- it's good to be Dutch again, and it's wonderful to be surrounded by so many fine and talented friends. To paraphrase Jack Kennedy, there hasn't been so much talent assembled in one room since -- well, since the last time Monty Hall hosted ``Let's Make a Deal.'' [Laughter] Seriously, Nancy and I have watched these parties over the years, and we're thrilled to be a part of the good work of the Variety Clubs International. And something Lucy [Ball] said last year applies to the way that I feel right now. Let's see if I can quote her accurately: ``To those of you who said such nice things about me tonight, I just wish you were all under oath.'' [Laughter] I wish you were all Members of Congress. [Laughter]

You know, when I first started in my present job, I'd sometimes put together in my mind my own dream Cabinet -- you know, John Wayne as Secretary of State -- [laughter] -- Clint Eastwood at Defense -- [laughter] -- Jack Benny as Secretary of Treasury -- [laughter] -- Groucho Marx at Education. [Laughter] But even Presidents can't have everything, except tonight; tonight, all of you here, well, you've really made my day. [Laughter] And as for all of you who were so generous in sharing your talents with us tonight, will you please stand up so that I can applaud you all once more? Come on, those of you -- [applause]. Thank you. And, Frank -- --

Mr. Sinatra. Yes, sir.

The President. ``Old Blue Eyes,'' as always, you've been the perfect host. Your voice rings just as pure and clear as ever for all of us guys and dolls who are still young at heart. And speaking of music, Steve and Eydie, I like the songs you sang -- not a clinker in the bunch. [Laughter] And Dean Martin, there you go again. [Laughter] Dean, I am thrilled that you were able to be here tonight for Burt Reynolds' party. [Laughter] And sometime, if they ever have a party for Nancy and me, I hope you can make that one, too. [Laughter] And Vin Scully, you brought back a lot of happy memories. And Monty Hall, the voice of Variety Clubs, thank you for your presentation. And Mike Frankovich, you share those words of gratitude; everybody knows how devoted you are to Variety. [Laughter] And Ben Vereen, you've danced your way into America's heart. And Emmanuel Lewis, we should never lose sight of what you said -- wait a minute -- even if sometimes we lose sight of you. [Laughter] Well, there you are, Manny. And that was a lovely sentiment that was expressed by the International [National] Children's Choir. And Chuck Heston, I knew you had leadership qualities when I saw you play Moses. You were eloquent and gracious in your remarks about me -- that guard on the Eureka varsity -- thank you.

To all of you associated with the good work of Variety, you have our eternal gratitude for arranging this party, for all the good work that you have done in your half a century of giving and caring for those who need our help the most, the innocent children of the world. Having my name associated with your good work -- the University of Nebraska Medical Center will always have a special place in my heart, and I thank you all very much.

And now, speaking for Nancy as well as myself, to all of you here and to all Americans everywhere, paraphrasing something that Moses said earlier, God shed His grace on each of thee. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 7:53 p.m. at the NBC studios. The fundraiser was sponsored by Variety Clubs International. Following his remarks, he attended a dinner for program participants and guests. At the end of the evening, the President went to the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, CA, where he stayed overnight.