TV host's joke fails during Dalai Lama interview

CANBERRA, Australia

His joke started with, "So the Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop," and ended him the Dalai Lama asking the worker to make him one with everything.

When the Dalai Lama appeared confused, the TV host said, "Oh, I knew that wouldn't work."

The 75-year-old is in Australia for low-key meetings with lawmakers. He recently relinquished his political authority over Tibetans, but remains their spiritual leader.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard refused to meet the Dalai Lama during his visit to Parliament House on Tuesday but insisted that the snub had nothing to do with Chinese pressure on world leaders to shun the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

"I make my own decisions and the government makes its own decisions about meetings that we hold," Gillard told reporters.

The Dalai Lama said he wasn't disappointed. He seemed to know little about Gillard - including her gender.

"If your prime minister has some kind of spiritual interest, then of course, my meeting would be useful, otherwise I have nothing to ask him," the Dalai Lama said during a news conference.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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