1. Here’s what you need to know: On Thursday a large batch of genuine transcripts covering telephone calls between Tony Blair and Bill Clinton in the late 1990s went viral.
Many aspects of them were bizarre including Clinton’s repeated references to bananas, cashmere jumpers, and eating moose lips. Meanwhile, Blair comes across as a patient man putting up with his friend’s strange ramblings while waiting to discuss weighty issues such as whether to bomb Serbia.
You can read BuzzFeed’s round-up of the strangest phone calls here.
3. He created this believable reminiscence about tuition fees.
4. And then there was this perfectly normal rant about Leeds Castle being in Kent.
5. And then Spicer posted a fake transcript about Bill Clinton punching a ham. And everything got a bit surreal as it started to spread across the internet.
6. It started to go viral on Twitter, stripped of all context. And quite understandably people really, really wanted to believe the story about the ham.
11. Pretty soon heavyweight political journalists were wanting to get the inside line on Clinton punching a ham with Blair.
12. Sadly for everyone, unless the government is hiding something it appears Clinton didn’t punch hams with Blair.
Spicer told BuzzFeed it was so easy to parody the tone of the original calls because they were so bizarre: “Clinton seems to be forever wandering off the subject like an eccentric relative while Blair remains impartial and bland. You can almost sense Blair embarrassingly picking imaginary fluff off this trousers. I replicated that but pushed it just an inch further.”
And the comedian said the pairing works well because it has all the farce of situation: “It’s just a believable double act I guess. I’ve been reading a lot of Alan Bennett recently. Perhaps he’s in there somewhere too.”
13. Here’s one final transcript on the ham, courtesy of Spicer.
A (genuine) spokesperson for Tony Blair told BuzzFeed News: “I can confirm TB has never punched ham, nor any form of meat, meat-related products or substitutes with Bill Clinton.”
Well we’re glad that’s all cleared up then.