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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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SPECTER: Well, my head hit the ceiling.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: This is NPR News.

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