MONTREAL — A Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state has reached Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In the roughly six-minute telephone interview released Saturday, Palin and the pranksters known as the Masked Avengers discuss politics, pundits, and the perils of hunting with Vice-President Dick Cheney.
"We have such great respect for you, John McCain and I, we love you," Palin is heard to gush to comedian Marc-Antoine Audette, masquerading as Sarkozy.
Palin doesn't seem to realize she's being tricked until Audette tells her at the end of the interview.
"Oh, have we been pranked?" she says. Seconds later, Palin's aide can be heard before the line goes dead.
Throughout the conversation, Audette drops plenty of clues that something's amiss.
He identifies French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday as his special adviser to the U.S., singer Stef Carse as Canada's prime minister and Quebec comedian and radio host Richard Z. Sirois as the provincial premier.
Early in the conversation, the fake Sarkozy tells Palin one of his favourite pastimes is hunting.
"We should go hunting together," she offers. "We can have a lot of fun together while we're getting work done. We could kill two birds with one stone."
Audette then jokes that they shouldn't bring Cheney on the hunt, referring to the 2006 incident in which the vice-president shot-and-injured a friend while hunting quail.
"I'll be a careful shot," responds Palin, who praises Sarkozy throughout the call.
"I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally, and your beautiful wife, oh my goodness," she says.
"You've added a lot of energy to your country with that beautiful family of yours."
The well-known prankster duo of Audette and Sebastien Trudel Audette have also tricked Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, Bill Gates, and French president Jacques Chirac over the years.
The call to Chirac was rated by the BBC as one of the top 30 best moments in radio history of all time.
They've been popular on the Quebec comedy scene for a decade.
The Masked Avengers, who have a regular show on Montreal radio station CKOI, will air the full interview on the eve of the U.S. elections. It can also be heard in full on their website www.justiciers.tv .
listen to the interview here.