The Washington farewell tour has begun for Jack Valenti, even though no one can believe he’s really leaving — and no one has yet materialized to take his place.
Still, the goodbyes began last week with the American Film Institute the first to say thanks for the memories at a May 11 party at Washington’s Willard Hotel.
The invite said Valenti would leave his vaunted post by the end of May, but he quickly corrected that notion when he addressed the crowd of Washington elite.
“Maybe the end of June,” he suggested.
For the party, six of the most powerful senators on Capitol Hill showed up to sing Valenti’s praises, including Sen. John Breaux.
The Louisiana Democrat, who turned down the MPAA post a few months ago provided his own Top 10 list of reasons he declined the gig. Highlights include:
No. 10: “I couldn’t stand attending Oscar night with all those beautiful Hollywood starlets.
No. 9: “My wife wouldn’t let me attend Oscar night with all those beautiful Hollywood starlets.”
No. 7: “People in Hollywood kept calling me John Bricks, Brax, Brox and Bre-o.”
No. 4: Working for Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone would have been dull, boring … and absolutely no challenge.”
No. 3: “I would be forced to give up my favorite hobby: downloading movies off the Internet.”
No. 2: “After 32 years in Congress, I’m tired of working with actors.”
And the No. 1 reason, Breaux turned down the MPAA job?
“I’m not Jack Valenti, and only Jack can replace Jack Valenti,” he gushed.