Arlen Specter Does a Surprisingly Dirty Stand-Up Routine

Slate's Culture Blog
March 27 2012 12:11 PM

Arlen Specter, from Senator to... Stand-Up?

Arlen Specter, rookie stand-up
Arlen Specter in 2010

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

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From Business Insider comes this delightfully unexpected story: Former Senator Arlen Specter stopped by the New Talent Night at famed New York comedy club Caroline's in Times Square yesterday and did a 10-minute stand-up set. Judging from the Business Insider piece, it sounds like he wasn't bad—and, what's more, he worked a little blue.

Take his Herman Cain joke, for instance: "Herman Cain has always had a problem with grammar. No matter how hard his teachers tried, they couldn't convince Herman Cain that harass was one word." I suppose I'm grading on a curve, since I don't usually expect to read one-liners from former chairmen of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, but that's not bad.

Nor is his Bill Clinton bit: "I called him up to congratulate him on his 65th birthday, and I said, 'How do you feel?' He said 'Arlen I feel like a teenager. The problem is I can't find one.'" Zing!

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.