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RUSH: I’ve got a little bit of a head cold today, coupled with the fact that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night after a night of revelry and good cheer in New York. Attention New York state auditors: “I didn’t work. It was a dinner.” It’s a cigar dinner. It’s a cigar dinner and it’s at the Four Seasons, Julian Niccolini’s place. It’s a great, great restaurant. It’s one of the most famous restaurants in New York. In the old days at the cigar dinner you could smoke throughout. You’d show up at the cocktail hour. I don’t now because I can’t hear in those things.

So I show up and the dinner’s at eight o’clock. I got there about ten ’til eight. I made a beeline for the dining room (nobody was in there yet) and I started to light a cigar.

“No, no, no, no! You can’t!”

“What? What do you mean, ‘You can’t light up’? It’s a cigar dinner.”

“No, no, no! Can’t smoke until dessert.”

And I remembered that’s been the rule for the past number of years — can’t smoke — because of Mayor Doomberg. It takes Marvin Shanken and the gang a long period of time to get special permission to hold a cigar dinner at a New York restaurant because of the anti-smoking laws in the city. But virtually everybody in there is smoking. It’s a CIGAR dinner! Everybody showing up expects to be around and among (and even smoke) cigars. John Salley, former great from the NBA, from the Detroit Pistons, was there (as he is usually) and he made a brilliant observation: There were more women in attendance last night than ever before. But even at that, they knew they were coming to a cigar dinner. There aren’t any complaints. That’s the point. I said, “Marvin, serve dessert first! I don’t understand.” But, anyway, we had a lot of cigars. So my voice is not scratchy. I just have a little bit of a head cold. I’m not suffering. Just little stuffed up here, and it’s a lack of sleep.


Here’s Jay in Omaha. Jay, you’re up first. Great to have you on the program. Hello.

CALLER: Rush, it is an honor to talk to you. Thank you for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet, sir.

CALLER: I just wanted to say that I love the way you think. If they made a law that you cannot smoke until after you’ve had dessert, to serve dessert first and you to come up with that, I mean, it’s just fantastic. They make these stupid laws that make no sense, and that’s just a way to get around it. I love the way you think. I’ve been listening for a long time, and I love you.

RUSH: You shoulda seen this. As I said, I walked into the dining room of the Four Seasons ten minutes before eight o’clock. Dinner is at eight. When I got there, everybody was in the bar. They were using the Grill Room for the bar. There were hundreds of people there, and they’re all smoking cigars, but it’s impossible for me to hear, to have a conversation in such circumstances. I just made a beeline for the dining room. Julian was in there, the owner of the restaurant, and I said, “Can you tell me the hoops you had to jump through this year to get permission to host this event?” And he pulled out of his pocket a legal document, multiple pages with whereases and what-fors and, if you don’t do this, jail time. It was the most incredible — for a dinner to raise money for prostate cancer, where everybody in attendance smokes cigars.

And, as I say, I pulled out a cigar to light it, “No, no, no, no.” I remembered. I missed last year because I was ill. This is 18 years we’ve done this, and last year was the first year I missed. And I forgot that there was no cigar smoking until dessert, at a cigar dinner. When these dinners first started, you’d have six cigars a night, you’d have a cigar with every course, it was part of it. And all the cigar manufacturers brought their wares, and they delighted in giving away what was new, you know, hot from their factories. And, so I said, “Why don’t we just serve dessert first, if the thing says you can’t smoke until dessert?” It actually said you can’t smoke during dinner. And I still said, “Why?”

It’s a cigar dinner. For 18 years we have smoked during dinner. I can remember, man, the glory days. Not that long ago. Maybe ten years. A great time. You can walk into 21, you could sit down and light a cigar at the bar, or while you’re having dinner, and if somebody complained, the maitre d’ would move them. In my speech last night, everybody made some remarks, I said, “We deserve medals.” I held up my cigar, “We deserve medals of honor because we, with these sticks, are funding children’s health programs.” It’s a sad commentary on what’s happening.


RUSH: Snerdley wants to know if Bob Lutz was at the cigar dinner. Bob Lutz was not there. He only showed up one year. I don’t remember what year it was, but it was a year that we did this at the Four Seasons, and it was a year before Mayor Doomberg started telling everybody they couldn’t enjoy life. Oh, by the way, there were some communists in the crowd last night.

Greetings, and welcome back. Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network and the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.

A bunch of us stand up and make remarks for five or ten minutes, and every time I get up and speak at these things I have to mention the fact of how it used to be, and all of these silly restrictions on having fun. There were some snickers from the crowd, and that’s how I knew there were communists in there. And I pointed out, all this is aimed at people not having a good time. When some people on the left see people enjoying themselves, that’s not fair, that’s not right, and we’re gonna see to it that you don’t have a good time. So we’re not gonna let you smoke all those cigars at your cigar dinner, even though we’re not gonna be there and there’s not gonna be a soul there that would be offended. There’s not gonna be a soul there that would complain. There’s not gonna be a soul at the cigar dinner that would have a problem with cigars.

But there were some snickers. I always know I hit home runs when I get the snickers. Miniature boos, and so forth. But what I did last night, I reminisced. Some of the greatest, most fun nights that I’ve had have been at these cigar dinners. I remember one year, Mayor Doomberg would not give us the permit. The permit was withdrawn two months — I say “us.” Marvin Shanken does this, Cigar Aficionado magazine, does this. But Marvin and I are buds, so it’s us. And two months or three months before, they just pulled the permit. And so Marvin said, “What do we do?” Because it’s an annual thing. It’s a Night to Remember, and it’s a fundraiser for prostate cancer. Mike Milken shows up and matches everything that’s donated. It’s big auction, all kinds of stuff’s auctioned off every year. Millions of dollars are raised at this thing.

So Francis Ford Coppola stepped up and offered his winery in Napa as a substitute. So we made a weekend out of it. And we had the actual dinner in a room in Francis Ford Coppola’s winery where he had things that had been used in the Godfather movies. One of those old cars. The desk that Marlon Brando used in the first movie, The Godfather, sitting behind when the funeral director shows up wanting justice for his daughter. It was cool. Wayne Gretzky and his wife were there. I’ll never forget because one of the items being auctioned off was a Cadillac, one of those two-seater sports car things. She really wanted it. I didn’t know it was her, and I was bidding because I wanted to give it to somebody. So I kept bidding and got the thing and she ended up being disappointed. I almost felt like giving it to her when it was over.

That year Tommy Lasorda, the former manager of Dodgers — what happens, folks, this is cool, too. A tradition. There are five bottles of wine in paper bags, brown paper, look like Mogen David. You have no idea what’s in there. And you bid, and the five bottles, the rule is that whoever bids the highest on each bottle has to open it and serve it to the guests at his table, so it gets consumed that night. And it’s always top drawer from California and from France. And one year, Tommy Lasorda, former manager of the Dodgers, was sitting at a table that did not get one of these bottles. So he’s running around stealing wine from everybody’s tables. “Hey, Rush, you got any of that wine?” (laughing) “Here, Tommy, take it.”

It’s just a blast. We had softball games, played golf the whole weekend. And I ruined it for Marvin last night ’cause we all stayed at a place out there in Napa called Auberge du Soleil or something like that, and I told him Pelosi’s family owns this, and it devastated Marvin when he found that out. I’m pretty sure. I’m pretty sure that the Pelosi family owns Auberge. (interruption) You mean do the cigar dinner in New Jersey? No, no, no, no. No, no. Snerdley, no, no, no. Nothing against New Jersey. If we’re gonna leave Manhattan to do the cigar dinner, we’re not gonna go — nothing against it, Governor Christie. No. But it was one year that it was [in Napa.]

Francis Ford Coppola said, “I listen to you every day when I’m in Costa Rica. I found a way to get you on shortwave.” (laughing) I said, “Is that right?” One year after I’d lost a lot of weight, he said, “You’ve got Hollywood good looks, I’m serious, Hollywood good looks.” I said, “Well, let’s do something about it.” I never heard from him. But, folks, it’s just been a blast and it still is. I mean we’re troopers. We make the most of it. I can understand if they wanted to limit cigar smoking when the restaurant’s open to the public, but it wasn’t.

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