Bill Clinton jokes no one would skip Dingell's funeral: 'Only time' we could get the last word

Former President Clinton joked Thursday that nobody wanted to miss the funeral for Rep. John DingellJohn DingellAlaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history The Hill's 12:30 Report: Cohen back on the hot seat Cummings shows how oversight should be done - and that's bad news for Trump MORE (D-Mich.) because it was their only chance to get "the last word" with the late veteran congressman.

"One of the reasons none of us would have missed this is that this is the only time in our entire lives in public service that we were in the same room as John Dingell and got the last word," Clinton said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The remark was met with heavy laughter and applause from the audience, including Clinton's wife, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIf Mueller's report lacks indictments, collusion is a delusion Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report The wisdom of Trump's lawyers, and the accountability that must follow Mueller's report MORE, who sat next to Rep. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellMichigan lawmakers ask ICE to stop deportation of Mexican journalist Dem lawmakers unveil Journalist Protection Act amid Trump attacks on media The Hill's 12:30 Report: Cohen back on the hot seat MORE (D-Mich.), the late congressman's wife.

Dingell also appeared to enjoy the remark, though her reaction came as she was fighting tears.

Clinton then turned to the casket: "Don't you dare jump up and say something," he added, to further laughter.

The former president was one of five speakers at Thursday's funeral for John Dingell, who died last week at the age of 92 after serving in Congress for just more than 59 years.

Other speakers at the service in Washington included former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner says it's Democrats' turn for a Tea Party movement House Republicans find silver lining in minority Alaskan becomes longest serving Republican in House history MORE (R-Ohio), Rep. Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (R-Mich.), Rep. John LewisJohn Lewis Civil rights icon John Lewis after New Zealand mosque attacks: 'We cannot sow seeds of hatred' Why are Trump and Congress avoiding comprehensive immigration reform? Together, we carry on the age-old struggle for justice for all MORE (D-Ga.) and House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Defense: Top Marine warns border deployment could hurt readiness | McSally aims for sexual assault reforms in defense bill | House to vote on measure opposing transgender ban | New warning over F-35 sale to Turkey House Dems unveil measure to reject anti-Israel boycotts House to vote on measure opposing transgender military ban MORE (D-Md.).

Debbie Dingell's office released a statement last week calling the congressman a "loving son, father, husband, grandfather, and friend" following his death.

"He will be remembered for his decades of public service to the people of Southeast Michigan, his razor sharp wit, and a lifetime of dedication to improving the lives of all who walk this earth," the statement read.