April 13, 2006
Ohhh Noooo!
Posted by Gordon Smith

MrbillApparently, the jury laughed when Jeff Skilling did his impersonation of Mr. Bill. I would laugh, too, I suppose because Mr. Bill is very funny. And Jeff Skilling doing Mr. Bill ... well, that would look pretty ridiculous.

Especially in context.

Apparently, Skilling was hoping to convince the jurors that he was just joking around when he told another Enron executive, Kevin Hannon, "They're on to us." The comment was made in response to a research report by Off Wall Street Consulting Inc., which stated that Enron's stock price was substantially overpriced.

"I may have said that," Skilling said Thursday.
"And if you said that, Mr. Skilling, were you meaning to imply there was something sinister or evil?" asked Petrocelli

Petrocelli asked whether Skilling liked to make jokes, and the former CEO said he did.

Skilling smiled and said that while at Enron he would sometimes imitate the high-pitched voice of a Play-doh character from a Saturday Night Live skit known as Mr. Bill.

He then gave jurors a little taste, which was followed by laughter.

"Oh, noooo! Mr. Bill! Oh, noooo! They're on to us!" Skilling said in a rather well-done imitation of the popular character.

So Skilling wants the jury to believe that a comment made as Mr. Bill was misinterpreted by another Enron executive as a serious expression of concern? Obviously, I wasn't present, but that does seem ridiculous, doesn't it? I wonder whether this might be one of those moments we remember about the Enron trial forever, like OJ trying on the gloves.

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