"I always wanted to be adopted, but I couldn't find anyone," said the star, speaking at a Newseum event in Washington, D.C., with his father, former Ohio news anchor Nick Clooney, and veteran journalist Bill Small on either side of him.
"Will you adopt me?" George said to Small. "I'm very wealthy. I'll take care of you."
Talk of adoption started after Nick Clooney's observation that his son's 2005 film, Good Night, and Good Luck, about iconic CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow, is now being shown in journalism schools across the country.
"This film has legs," said the elder Clooney, who then asked his son for his opinion.
"I don't care for that," said the jocular George – prompting Nick to respond: "I never cared for this kid – his sister's great."
More JokesWalking off stage before the screening of Good Night, and Good Luck – as part of his father's Reel Journalism film program – Clooney, 47, then quipped that his father, 75, was an old man who needed a walker.
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From the wings: "I was," George said. "I was."
After the movie, the Regis and Kelly-like banter continued.
When George said that they made the movie for $6.5 million, his dad asked where the money goes. "Right to me," George said. "We shoot for $500,000, then I take $6 million ..."
Nick Clooney then asked where that money goes. "To my new dad," George said.
But Small turned down George's invitation. "I was hoping [billionaire entrepreneur] Mark Cuban would make an offer," Small said.
Looking stunned, George said, "Wow. I got a dump like that."
2005: George directs Good Night, and Good Luck
1996: George gets pulses racing on ER