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Blogs / People

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Poke Fun At Politics

August 16, 2012
Comedy clubs are hostile territory for Members of Congress, whose antics too often leave them on the wrong end of the political punchline. But that won't stop Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., from trading in his campaign megaphone for the stand-up mic on Thursday night.
 
A self-described "equal-opportunity roaster," Doyle plans to make just as many jokes about his fellow Democrats as Republicans at a comedy event to benefit area children. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., Doyle's Republican challenger Dr. Hans, and several other area politicians will also perform.
 
Fair minded though he may be, Doyle saves his best jokes for Republicans.
 
"Four years ago, it was John McCain. I listed off a whole bunch of things that are younger than he is, like the State of Israel," Doyle said, adding that this year, "with [Mitt] Romney it's going to be more that he's a rich elitist, out of touch with the people. Dressage is going to be part of the routine, you can bet on that."
 
Casey, like Doyle, is a veteran of the event, which last year raised more than $37,500 to support the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund.
 
"The charity comedy nights are good fun and for a good cause," said Casey spokesman Larry Smar. "Thankfully, the giving spirit also extends to the laughs from the audience."
 
Lessmann, an optometrist who faces an uphill battle against Doyle in the solidly Democratic District 14, agreed to perform at the event despite the blue-leaning crowd. He's a tad more nervous about the performance than Doyle, and he has yet to prepare a routine.
 
"Am I nervous? Who knows. I'm a rookie candidate, so I've got to get out and play ball," he said. He plans, among other things, to poke fun at healthcare reform and to row on stage in a nod to his favorite hobby.
 
Doyle, however, advises against "winging it." "I've seen people go up there and choke -- you don't want to do that. But I'm a naturally funny guy anyway. Where I grew up, we used to take turns cutting each other up," adding that he's still waiting for an opponent that can work the crowd. "These tea party Republicans aren't really full of humor -- we'll see if Hans will be better."

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