The22nd annual Stu Bykofsky Candidates’ Comedy Night, a benefit for Variety, the children’s charity, was held this evening at Finnegan’s Wake. Since this is primarily a political blog I didn’t take notes on the speakers who aren’t running for office. As always, this is not intended to be an exact transcript, just rough notes I took at the event. It would be impossible to capture every joke, especially the longer, more involved story jokes, but I made an effort to provide some idea of each candidate's routine. Text implies a direct joke, notes in brackets are condensations or gists. Actions or extraneous activities are in italics, as are candidates' names. Read your local newspapers for more exact accounts of the event.
Tom Smith, Republican candidate for Senate
[he had slides, with his face imposed on or added to stock or iconic photos]
I am new to politics and most people in Philadelphia aren’t familiar with me. My father died when I was 20 and I had to look after the family so I couldn’t go to college but I sent my daughters. [shows a slide of what he would have looked like if he had gone – his face superimposed on someone wearing a college tshirt holding a beer mug].
My wife is with me, as you can see I left her get a new dress for the event [American Gothic painting with Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s photos in it].
I worked in a coal mine [Smith’s face on the front of Thomas the Tank Engine, pulling a load of coal].
I had big dreams [his face added to a picture of the Beverly Hillbillies]. My wife and I adopted four children so a family could stay together.
People say I am a Tea Party candidate but there are a lot of things about me you don’t know [his face added to an Occupy Pittsburgh group photo].
Congressman Bob Brady, Democrat, 1st district
Incumbents do comedy every day, make fools of ourselves every day. This is for the kids.
[tells a joke about an attorney going to a brothel].
[Tells a pee and poop joke at Bykofsky’s expense].
Sen. Bob Casey, Democrat
[Makes fun of himself for being dull, cites a NYT article that says he shows excitement with extra eyebrow activity]
Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, Democrat, 13th district, sent a surrogate, Neil Deegan.
Top 10 reasons Allyson can’t be here tonight:
Still at PennDOT waiting for her voter id card
Getting new copy of the congressional ladies’ room key made for Kathy Boockvar
Prepping Mayfair office to hand over to Bob Brady
Painting bike lane in front of Stu’s house
Getting mani pedi with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi
Measuring drapes for Corbett’s office
Looking at Pat Toomey’s office
Needed a haircut for the DNC.
Kathleen Kane, Democratic candidate for Attorney General
[joke about thinking Finnegan’s Wake was an actual funeral wake]
[joke about doctors]
In Scranton the obituaries are the Irish social pages. People clip them out and put then on the refrigerator. They often have headlines, like “101 Year Old Woman Dies Unexpectedly.”
I took my son to an Eagles game. We saw empty seats up front and moved up to them. They were next to an older man. He told us he and his wife had season tickets for years but she died a few days ago. I asked if a family member didn’t want to come with him. “Oh, no,” he said, “they’re at the funeral.”
George Badey, Democratic candidate for 7th congressional district
[told “the neighborhood I grew up in was so tough” jokes – it is now in Brady’s district]
I went to high school in South Philly. Pat Meehan went to the Chestnut Academy.
Chris Christie is in the hospital. He has that flesh eating bacteria. He only has 13 years to live.
Fidel Castro’s successor will be his idiot son, Fidel W. Castro.
Bill Clinton and the Pope died but there was a mix up and Clinton went up and the Pope went down. When the mix up was fixed and the Pope was going up and Clinton down they passed and the Pope told Clinton he was looking forward to meeting the Blessed Virgin. Clinton said “You just missed her.”
David Freed, Republican candidate for Attorney General
Thanks to Kathleen Kane for picking up the tab.
I went to college with Cecily Tynan.
Fan of Philly sports teams [joke about the 1996 Phillies being bad team].
People say I am too close to Gov. Corbett – he wrote my jokes. [fakes a phone call from Corbett]. “Hello, Governor? Yes, Risa Vetri Ferman’s here – she’s sitting right next to me. No, she still won’t run for Attorney General.
[joke about Ed Rendell telling people the statue of Billy Penn is of him]
[calls Daily News columnist John Baer a gossip columnist]
Kathy Boockvar, Democratic candidate for 8th congressional district
I want to show that I can be funny on purpose and not just by accident.
I wanted to find a job more popular than being in congress but the TSA didn’t have any opening and Elliott Spitzer already has a co-host.
Things more popular than congress right now:
Chick Fil A’s new branch at the Sea of Gaililee
The idea of being abducted by aliens
The oil industry
Bank of America
BP Oil during the Gulf oil spill
John Featherman, Republican candidate for 1st congressional district
[several jokes about being Jewish and being married to an Asian woman]. Two Chinese people had a white baby but everyone knows two Wongs don’t make a white.
A union friend wanted to find a whorehouse where the prostitutes got to keep more of the money than the madam. They finally found one and the union friend asked for a pretty young blonde but the proprietor said he had to take 62 year old Ethel, because of seniority rules.
Intermission with comedian Joe Conklin who told some good jokes and did impressions of political figures. He also gave a shout out to the girls from Club Risque and said they were the only ones there with bigger [breasts] than Bob Brady.
Congressman Pat Meehan, Republican, 7th district
Stu thought the Variety Club was a dating service.
My opponent George Badey is a mummer. He wants to go to Washington, wear satin pants, a feather boa and lipstick. J. Edgar Hoover already did that.
Anthony Wiener got in trouble for sexting. He was trying to decide whether or not to resign. He was in, he was out, he was in, he was out, now he’s holding his own. Bill Clinton oversaw Wiener’s wedding.
When the scandal broke he called Clinton to apologize – for what, copyright infringement?
Three political figures were driving through Kansas and ended up in Oz. [missed the name, possibly George W. Bush?] went looking for a heart, Joe Biden for a brain, and Bill Clinton said “Where’s Dorothy?”
There is an auction for a restaurant gift card which Emerald Capital bids more than the card is worth, then ups that bid when Stu includes a gift basket.
Dr. Manan Trivedi, Democratic candidate in 6th district
When I ran in 2010 I spoke at this event and told a lot of jokes about being an Indian-American. I won’t do that this year. [fakes a telephone call and answers in stereotypic Indian accent] “Dell Technical Support. This is … Mike …. In …. Kansas City.”
My wife is from a very traditional family. When they heard I wouldn’t be a full-time doctor while I am running for office they asked for three chickens back.
Jim Gerlach and Paul Ryan work out together – they practice their Atlas Shrugged poses.
[spelling bee joke]
Unlike Todd Akin, I know when my time is up.
Special guest, comedian Steve Young tells jokes
Congressman Jim Gerlach, Republican, 6th district, sent surrogate Kori Walter, district director.
Mitt Romney bet me $10,000 that I wouldn’t do this.
[He told several jokes that fell flat and asked if the audience was drinking enough. As he left the stage Stu told him you never blame the audience if your jokes don’t get a laugh, always use self-deprecating humor.]
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, Republican, 8th district
[Fitzpatrick was taking two of his daughters to college this weekend and so wasn’t sure he would be able to attend; a surrogate, Andre [did not catch last name], was there just in case, but Fitzpatrick told his own jokes]
One night in Washington a robber held me up and said “give me all your money.” I told him I was a congressman and he said “In that case give me all my money.”
Is Mitt Romney here tonight? Coming in I thought I saw a car with a dog carrier on top.”
[discusses his Irish heritage, family from county next to Limerick. Says Limerick known for a particular kind of poem. Tells three. One about Paul Ryan has a line “grandma
just must go.” One about Romney being robotic but “I saw him cry when he sold his 3rd yacht.” The last one is about Obama and says he will be a judge on American Idol next year.]
Jim Foster, Independent candidate in 2nd district
[Mostly talks about himself, jokes about Chaka Fattah, and says West Mt. Airy is Stepford on the Wissahickon]
Robert Mansfield, Republican candidate for 2nd district, sends surrogate Ned Green.
[says he met Mansfield in the 1990’s on another political campaign, Mansfield was homeless then]. Says Mansfield isn’t there because he has a lot of injuries from being in Iraq and is seeing a brain specialist today.
Personal notes: Smith, Casey, Schwartz / Deegan, Kane, Trivedi, and Boockvar did well. I was surprised by the Republican candidates telling Romney / Paul jokes. That seems unusual.
There were a lot of jokes / comments at Congressman Chaka Fattah's expense. That is because two years ago he was a presenter and gave an awful, mean-spirited rant. He wasn't there tonight. This would have been an opportunity for him to do something self-deprecating and make a comeback but he didn't. (Hint: There's always the Star Trek, evil twin/ goatee trick that Community has picked up on.)
It was nice to see two women on the stage. Maybe one of these years Congresswoman Schwartz will join us in person? Kathleen Kane's routine had a homespun, Lake Woebegone feel to it. Boockvar was a little edgier.
The girls from Club Risque paraded from one side of the room to the other about three times, which is the standard from the other years I've attended, but this year they were wearing clunky shoes and the sound was disruptive.