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CLINTON JOKES IT UP AT GRIDIRON DINNER

Before a crowd of white-tied media and political elite Saturday night, President Clinton poked ample fun at lawyers and staff who have worked to help him deal with various investigations.

At one point during the 113th annual Gridiron Club Dinner, he read off a list of jokes his attorneys had approved for the evening, including:

"Knock-knock: Don't answer that."

The president also said his lawyers told him he could not mention Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr, only some others with Star-like names: "Brenda, Bart and Ringo."

The Gridiron Club Dinner, a musical review concocted by the club's 60 journalist members, is named for an antique iron implement used to roast meat and, in the club's case, more than a century's worth of American politicians.

Guests at the dinner included Stanford Lipsey, publisher and president of The Buffalo News; Murray B. Light, editor and senior vice president of The News, and his wife, Joan; and Judith Hojnacki, senior partner, Eric Mower Associates/Buffalo Inc.

Douglas Turner, Washington Bureau chief of The News, is a member of the Gridiron Club and performed in the show.

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