Aug. 23, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Heard on the Hill: Hello, Dolly!

Country singer extraordinaire Dolly Parton on Tuesday was a welcome departure from the typical lineup of speakers at the National Press Club — after all, we’re guessing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the club’s next luncheon guest, won’t wear four-inch heels and lead the audience in a singalong.

Parton, who came to the press club to tout her new role as an ambassador for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, had the usually sedate crowd cracking up with her self-deprecating humor and one-liners, including a few on politics.

On Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s failed run for president: “It would be great to have a woman in the White House — every 28 days, those terrorists better run deeper.”

On whether she’d ever consider running for high office: “I think we’ve had enough boobs in the White House.”

But Parton did prove she’s got at least one skill that would serve her well in politics: She has perfected the art of faking it — and not just when it comes to her famous cleavage. After making some opening remarks, Parton invited the audience to ask questions. “And if I don’t know the answer I’m going to make it up and you’ll never know the difference,” she said.

Small Screen, Big Dreams. There’s a casting call out for a new television show set in Washington, D.C. — and unlike the typical stuffy, buttoned-up depictions of our fair city, this one is comedic — and it’s set in a local health club.

“The Gym” is an improvisation-based sitcom centered on 13 Washingtonians who work out at a dysfunctional exercise facility near the Capitol. While half the characters could be from “Anywhere, USA,” the others are unique personalities found only in Washington, creator and executive producer Erika Grace Allen told HOH.

And “it’s not going to be like ‘The West Wing,’ where everyone is portrayed as intelligent,” Allen said.

Take Travis, a 20-something Capitol Hill intern from the Midwest who works at the gym. While his top motivation is to make extra money (Hill interns don’t usually get paid, after all), he also wants to get in shape, meet cute girls and establish political connections.

“That doesn’t mean that Senators are going to work out there, but he thinks that,” Allen said. “You know, he’s new. He’s from the Midwest.”

The rest of the cast also has its quirks. For example, there’s Sienna, a girl-next-door type (and the subject of Travis’ crush) who is into New Age health remedies; Max, a nerdy-but-wealthy guy who is trying (and failing) to get in tip-top shape; and “the boss,” who owns the gym but appears to use it to fund outside activities (the mafia, perhaps?).

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