The 63-Timers Club

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted January 30, 2012 at 4:15pm

Sen. John McCain will soon be the Alec Baldwin of “Meet the Press.”

On Sunday, the Arizona Republican made his 63rd appearance on the show, defending his new besty, Mitt Romney, in a mano-a-mano with former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who represented former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), reverse mortgages and older men with goatees. That’s a lot more than the 16 times Baldwin has hosted “Saturday Night Live.”

MTP host David Gregory noted that McCain was “making history” by tying former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole’s record of appearances. (The Steve Martin, as it were, to his Baldwin.)

“Old Bob Dole,” interjected McCain, whose chicken is not exactly springy anymore, either.

“You realize that you’ll have to have one more and then you get the Universal Studios tour package,” Gregory joked, lamely.

We prefer to think that McCain and Dole are now kings of some “Meet the Press” version of the Five-Timers Club for SNL hosts. (Though now that Conan O’Brien is on basic cable, he’s probably no longer the doorman, which is too bad.)