Americans got a taste of alternative political reality when Al Gore appeared on the comedy show Saturday Night Live to address the nation as "President Gore."
Basing his sketch on the premise that he had emerged triumphant from the presidential election acrimony in Florida in 2000, Gore appeared in a mocked-up Oval Office.
After six years of his presidency, the country faced many problems, he admitted: the gigantic budget surplus was "down to a perilously low US$11 trillion," while the US was so popular worldwide "that American tourists can't go to Europe any more without getting hugged."
Then there was "the worst gas crisis in history" -- a reference to the currently soaring price of petrol in the US.
"We have way too much gasoline ... I know that I am partly to blame by insisting that cars run on trash," Gore said.
His critics seem likely to interpret the skit as a display of bitterness, though the fact that he appeared at all seemed to run counter to the received wisdom in 2000 that he was wooden and lacked humor.