Former Sen. Specter Turns To Stand-Up

Arlen Specter: former U.S. senator and current amateur comedian. The Pennsylvania politician delivered his stand-up routine at a New York comedy club on Monday night.

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Some former members of Congress run for president. Others shift gears to stand-up comedy. Take former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, please.

ARLEN SPECTER: So, I've been in the Senate for 30 years practicing comedy.



Eighty-two-year-old Arlen Specter performed last night at Caroline's Comedy Club in New York. For his 12-minute stand-up routine, the senator from Pennsylvania decided to go with what he knows: politicians. Among them New Jersey Governor Chris Christie whose beach home was hit by a hurricane last year.

SPECTER: Governor Christie didn't mind too much that the house was destroyed. It was uninsured. But what really troubled him was his entire library was destroyed, both books.


SPECTER: And he wasn't finished coloring one of them either.


SIEGEL: Specter also set his comedic sights on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

SPECTER: I've known Newt so long, I knew him when he was skinny.


SPECTER: In fact, I've known Newt so long, I knew his first wife.


BLOCK: Now, Democrats were not spared from Senator Specter's punch lines. He joked about a time when Ted Kennedy joined him in a Senate gym hot tub.

SPECTER: Teddy lops into the hot tub like a walrus.


SPECTER: You know the story of rising tide lifts all ships?


SPECTER: Well, my head hit the ceiling.


SIEGEL: Specter can be considered a progressive in terms of recycling. He used some jokes from his two previous stand-up routines.

BLOCK: He says he honed his use of humor in front of town hall audiences as a politician. Specter notes that when constituents turned hostile, his humor made them laugh and listen.


SIEGEL: This is NPR News.

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