Katie Couric: Comedian

katie_couric_perot.jpgWhile Katie Couric was earnest in her acceptance speech as one of the “muses” honored by New York Women in Film & Television, she did manage elicit some laughs with shockingly dead-on impersonations of two of her most difficult subjects during her Today tenure: Katharine Hepburn and Ross Perot. She recalled interviewing an ornery Hepburn when the star published her autobiography, Me, in 1991. Easily slipping into the icon’s familiar tremulous tones, Couric recalled Hepburn asking, “What is your name, dear?” when she sat face to face with the actress. “I was a little chagrined and slightly insulted. I thought her at least her handlers would tell her who I was. I said, ‘It’s Katie, Miss Hepburn.'” Hepburn replied: “Not your first name, your last name — it’s so weird!” The CBS Evening News seatwarmer then moved on to recall another contentious conversation. “When I asked a challenging question of a prickly Ross Perot, he responded by chastising me like a fourth grade teacher” — barking her Perot — “Katie! Katie! Katie.”

The Daily Show‘s Samantha Bee, the afternoon’s emcee, noted similarities between her and Couric: “Katie is the first female television anchor of a network news cast and I have watched the evenings news several times usually when TiVo didn’t tape what I wanted to watch.”