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New series review: Lil' Bush (Comedy Central)

Premiering: Wednesday, June 13 at 9:30 p.m. (central) on Comedy Central
Starring: Cartoon likenesses of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, George Bush Sr., Barbara Bush and others
Created by: Donick Cary

Comedy Central gifted a new president early in his first term with That's My Bush! from the creators of South Park.

That one didn't last long, and this one might not either. But as George W. Bush winds down his second tumultuous term, here comes Comedy Central's even nastier Lil' Bush. Nasty in a funny way, though. At least some of the time.

Bush likely never envisioned a day when former "Godfather of Punk" Iggy Pop would be voicing a cartoon approximation of his deposed secretary of defense, Donald " Lil' Rummy" Rumsfeld. Or that Condoleezza "Lil' Condi" Rice would have a crush on him in this rendering of his boyhood. Or that Dick "Lil' Cheney" Cheney literally would inhabit his mother, Barbara, after she takes him into her bed. Yeah, it's hard to predict such things.

Created by former Late Night with David Letterman writer Donick Cary, Lil' Bush originated as a series of mobile phone shorts before an amused Comedy Central ordered six episodes.

Cary also voices Lil' Cheney as a constantly growling beastly boy who regularly sucks the blood out of birds. Each half-hour episode is divided into two short stories with titles in the old Friends mode. On Wednesday's premiere, "The One Where I go to Iraq for Some Reason" shares billing with "The One Where Pop's Got to Smoke Lil' Cheney Out of a Hole." Comedy Central says the central characters are "like The Little Rascals, but with access to the A-Bomb."

This also is a world where the senior George Bush (voiced by Dave Mitchell) is still president. But we're in the present, with the war in Iraq raging while "Poppy" admonishes, "You kids know you're not supposed to watch anything but Fox News."

His dinky son already has the over-enunciation and smirk/laugh of later years, with Chris Parson's voice-overs nailing both. In the first story, Lil' Bush joins the Army as a dopey way to give George Sr. "the perfect Father's Day gift." Enlistments are zilch, so the Army is all too glad to have him.

"When do I get my body armor?" Lil' Bush asks the recruiter, prompting prolonged laughter from both.

There's a Lil' Bill and Hillary in the second adventure. He's already making out with the Lewinsky twins; Lil' Bush is more interested in kissing 'Lil Laura to win a bet.

Meanwhile, Barbara Bush yearns to be rode hard. "Oh George, you never visit the First Lady parts anymore," she laments.

Lil' Cheney eventually winds up in the sack with her in a sequence that even Dennis Kucinich might say goes too far. But then Lil' Bush goes even farther, with George Sr. taking his wife to an abortion clinic to have Lil' Cheney removed from her stomach, where he's been using one of her kidneys as a beanbag chair.

This does seem like cruel and unusual punishment, even to a president with such low approval ratings. But Lil' Bush can be funny in spite of its excesses. As when Lil' Bush beats his dense little sibling, Jeb, with a crowbar before Barbara warns, "Now be nice to your brother. You might need him to rig an election someday."

Let freedom ring.

Grade: B-minus