'Veep' stars joke as political satire leave Aussie MP in literal stitches

A Queensland politician laughed so much at the show he knocked himself out and wound up in hospital

'Veep' stars joke as political satire leave Aussie MP in literal stitches

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in 'Veep' [HBO]

The stars of the searing satirical sitcom Veep have responded warmly to the news that the HBO comedy is so funny that it caused an Australian MP to knock himself unconscious and require stitches after he collapsed laughing at an episode.

Queensland MP Graham Perrett, a member of the Australian Labor Party, was using chopsticks to eat sushi while watching the multi-award winning series.

But while chuckling at a joke in the show, “some of the rice went down the wrong way,” causing Perrett to knock himself out, landing face first on a bench. Discovered by his wife lying supine on the floor, unconscious and bleeding, Perrett was brought to hospital, receiving three stitches and some surgical glue.

MP Graham Perrett shows off his Veep-inflicted wounds [Buzzfeed Australia]

As news of the unusual injury reached Hollywood, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus responded to Buzzfeed Australia journalist Mark Di Stefano tweet about the tumble:

Responding to Buzzfeed, Perrett revealed that the scene that left him in literal stitches involved newly-elected Congressman Jonah Ryan getting caught shaving his head to gain sympathy for a now resolved cancer diagnosis.

“I must have been out for only a few seconds because, when I came to again, I was still laughing at Jonah.”

Actor Timothy Simons, who plays Ryan, quipped that the show would have to “tone it down” in the future:

It’s not the first time that an Australian parliamentarian has wound up being tied to the HBO comedy, which follows the life of a former US President and her egocentric or incompetent staffers.

During last year’s general election down under, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal Party used a phrase that was almost identical to an election slogan employed by Louis-Dreyfus’s Selina Meyer in Veep – one chosen to be deliberately “hollow and oxymoronic.”

Reacting to the Liberal Party’s use of the phrase, Veep writer Simon Blackwell told The Guardian that the show’s version came about when art director Jim Gloster needed something to go on the side of the President’s campaign bus.

“We needed it to be hollow and oxymoronic, to say absolutely nothing but seem to have depth and meaning. It couldn’t be too daft though – it had to be funny but still believable,” he said.

“Selina wants to be all things to all people – she wants to assure the American public that government is carrying on as normal after the president has stepped down, that there is no crisis, but she also wants to seem fresh and forward-looking.

“It did make me laugh a lot when I saw that the Australian PM’s people had been on the same mental journey and come up with the same meaningless phrase.”

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