LIGHT LUNCH: Man chokes, gets black eye from laughing at TV show
CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian lawmaker said Friday he was stunned that he had grabbed the attention of stars of the U.S. television series "Veep" by laughing so hard at an episode of the political satire that he choked on his sushi and knocked himself unconscious on a kitchen bench.
Graham Perrett was left with three stitches under a blackened left eye and surgical glue on his split nose after the mishap while relaxing in front of the TV at his home in the east coast city of Brisbane on Sunday evening.
The 51-year-old opposition Labor Party lawmaker said he laughed so hard that he choked on his eel sushi. He sprang from his lounge chair then hit his head on a granite kitchen bench top, breaking his glasses and knocking himself unconscious for a few seconds.
News of his plight reported in The Australian newspaper on Thursday drew an incredulous response from "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who tweeted: "I mean, c'mon, I'm actually having a hard time believing it. But the real question is — what episode?"
Perrett replied that it was the first episode of the new season in which a character, Congressman Jonah Ryan, is caught out faking cancer by shaving his head to milk public sympathy. "Pure gold, your highness!!!" Perrett tweeted Louis-Dreyfus.
Another "Veep" actor Timothy Simons tweeted in response to Perrett's accident: "oh my god. oh my god."
"Veep" showrunner David Mandel told Buzzfeed he apologized to Perrett and to Australia.
"I would like to make an official statement on behalf of 'Veep' and the United States," Mandel said. "We would like to apologize to Australia, our key ally in the Asia-Pacific region, for writing something that would cause bodily harm to your people."
Perrett said after all the entertainment "Veep" had provided him, he was glad to give some amusement back to its makers.
"For a domestic accident, it's just been bizarre, it's been quite surreal," Perrett said of the attention the "Veep" connection had attracted.
"As someone who lives and breathes politics, I appreciate the nuances in 'Veep,' but for the actors to respond was a real buzz," he added.
Perrett has watched two "Veep" episodes since his accident, but he has learnt a lesson.
"I definitely wasn't eating," he said.