Berlusconi Breaks Podium at Rowdy White House Soiree

Dubya's last fan gets a little excited
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2008 10:15 AM CDT
Silvio Berlusconi and George W. Bush at a state dinner in the Italian prime minister's honor, Monday, October 13, 2008. At bottom is Mary Lou Retton.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Affairs don't get much more formal than a White House official dinner, but last night's reception in honor of Silvio Berlusconi had all the seriousness of a frat party. The Italian prime minister was so excited to toast President Bush that he knocked into the lectern, which collapsed in pieces. His response? He picked up the top of the podium and kept speaking into the attached microphones.

Berlusconi also got laughs when he praised Nancy Pelosi, an Italian-American, for becoming the first woman speaker—which was translated into Italian as "prima donna." After singing Bush's praises it was time for the entertainment: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, who performed "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man." At the end, perhaps inevitably, Bush and Berlusconi got onstage and joined the band.