Arlen Specter, Stand-Up Comic? Former Senator Tries Comedy at Caroline's

Arlen Specter Does a Surprisingly Dirty Stand-Up Routine

Arlen Specter Does a Surprisingly Dirty Stand-Up Routine

Brow Beat
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.

David Haglund David Haglund

David Haglund is the literary editor of NewYorker.com. 

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!