The declassified documents emerged on Thursday, revealing phone calls between the then US President and UK Prime Minister from 1997 to 2000.
The pair’s self-described “good and strong relationship” is evident throughout, with the discussion of international affairs liberally sprinkled with everyday chit-chat, jokes and well-wishes for each other’s families.
Mr Blair was often forced to push the conversations back on track after the US President’s tangents, which include asides on cashmere jumpers, golf, bananas and what the former Prime Minister would look like naked.
They inspired comedian Michael Spicer to create some transcripts of his own that imitated the leaders’ phone manner so well that many people have mistaken them for the genuine records.
But unfortunately, to our knowledge, President Clinton never beat up a ham, ran bowling competitions for the unemployed, mastered plate spinning or genuinely believed he was talking to Tony "Blare".
Here are Mr Spicer’s creations:
'What were you calling about?' these Blair/Clinton conversations are incredible pic.twitter.com/hV5XBFe3GS— wheatles (@wheatles) January 8, 2016
Universally agreed to be the best thing in the newly-released Clinton/Blair transcripts pic.twitter.com/5PJ5PofypC— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) January 8, 2016
But the real conversations between the two leaders sometimes threatened to become even more bizarre.
Here is an excerpt from a chat on 4 February 1999, when they discuss Vice President Al Gore’s visit to the UK.
“Nice to hear your voice,” Mr Clinton began, telling Mr Blair “Al” had a fantastic time.
“He also liked it when he went into (John) Prescott’s office and the only decoration was a bowl of bananas,” he continued.
“I heard all about it. He was very happy.”
The Prime Minister said he would get it “sorted out” but Mr Clinton cut back in with: “My staff won't let me talk to you unless I have a banana at hand. I'm sitting here with a banana; it's a big, ugly, brownish one.”
Tony Blair: A career of controversies
Tony Blair: A career of controversies
1/11 The Tony Blair 'selfie'.. A journalist takes a picture of Kennard Phillips 'Photo Op', depicting Prime Minister Tony Blair taking a 'selfie' in front of an explosion in Iraq, during a press viewing of the exhibition Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War
2/11 Protesters pictured outside the QEII Conference centre in London in 2011 as former British PM Tony Blair give his evidence in the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry
3/11 David Lawley-Wakelin, who disrupted Tony Blair’s testimony at the Leveson Inquiry by bursting into the court
4/11 Blair giving evidence
5/11 Tony Blair visiting troops in Iraq in 2007
6/11 Blair meeting with troops in Basra, Iraq in 2003
7/11 Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks to British soldiers at Divisional Headquaters in Basra, May 2007
8/11 British Prime Minister Tony Blair eats dinner with British troops in Basra, Iraq, 21 December, 2004
9/11 Syrian president Bashar El Assad during his official visit to the United Kingdom in 2002. Mr Blair tried to engage Mr Garcia in a conversation about Syria. The former Prime Minister made clear he was very much in favour of military intervention last summer.
10/11 Syrian president Bashar El Assad and wife Asma during their official visit to the United Kingdom in 2002. Mr Blair tried to engage Mr Garcia in a conversation about Syria
11/11 Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's signature adorns a program he signed for an Iraq veteran during a reception at the Guildhall in London following the service of commemoration at St Paul's Cathedral honouring UK military and civilian personnel who served in Iraq
“Now Bill,” Mr Blair replied with a smooth put-down: “I thought we should have a word about Kosovo.”
In another exchange, the US President jokingly offered to babysit Mr Blair’s forthcoming baby. “We’ll put you down on the babysitting list now, mate,” Mr Blair jokingly replied.
Mr Clinton once told him he had a “choirboy look” and, on another occasion, gave strict conditions for the Prime Minister’s stay at the White House.
“As long as you don't parade around naked before the bath,” he said. “You're too young and too trim.”
Other surprising topics that deviated from matters of state included discussing the merits of tea with Steven Spielberg versus coffee with billionaire Ron Burkle, Pink Panther films and Mr Clinton asking if he can be made an honorary UK citizen with Scottish estate “next door to a good golf course”.
The files, covering calls between 1997 and 2000, can be read on the Clinton Presidential Library website here.Reuse content