By Thomas Madison

Channeling his best Ed McMahon, David Letterman delivered Michelle Obama straight line after straight line during their Thursday night dialogue on The Late Show. Throwing in the obligatory McMahon guffaw at Michelle’s clumsy punch lines that were nowhere close to funny, Letterman obligingly howled with laughter at Michelle’s disconnected  nonsense. The audience laughter and applause sign must have been smoking from the overload.

Letterman announced to Michelle that he was retiring in a few weeks, to which she responded, “No kidding,” causing obedient hoots from the audience and a manufactured chuckle from Dave. I guess he just didn’t know how else to respond. “No kidding” is apparently very funny. How I wish I could deliver a line like that!

Devoted Dave followed up, dutifully asking Michelle what she planned to do after she and The One leave the White House, an obvious prearranged question, to which she replied, “What, like running for President or anything?” a question that for some reason drew many yucks and scattered applause from the audience. It must have been the sign.

Letterman followed up, groveling, “That’s something to consider.”

Having run her intended announcement up the flagpole to test the reaction, Michelle quickly changed course, saying, “I think we should hang out together. We could do things.”

Not knowing exactly what to say, Deadpan Dave replied, “I would love to do something.” Oh, how will we do without that Letterman wit? The applause/laughter sign operator must have been asleep at the switch on this one.

“I could help you,” Michelle teases, (weird pause) “raise your children,” inducing bent-over chortling from Letterman, which must have awakened the applause/laughter sign operator, as copious hoots filled the theater. Continued the First Lady, “You seem so challenged! It’s a scary thing for you. I could walk you through it.” By this point the sign and/or the sign operator were apparently burnt out, as Letterman guffawed obligingly on his own, concluding the awkward segment with, “All the problems will be for the stepfather.” Many yucks. Many yucks.

The good news is Letterman  is leaving the air, presumably to produce a killer reality show, “Sasquatch, The Nanny.” The bad news is I think Michelle is serious about a run for the White House.