If it’s Tuesday, it’s open mic night at Helium Comedy Club in Rittenhouse Square.
If it was last Tuesday, club patrons heard from a pretty well-known name who signed up for a chance to zing some jokes at the audience.
“Some of them were even clean,” said Arlen Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat who represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate for 30 years.
He says the gig just felt right.
“I never bit my tongue in Washington,” said Specter. “As a matter of fact, I used it too often and it got me in a lot of trouble.”
Now, it’s getting laughs.
Here’s a sample:
“Herman Cain has had a problem with his vocabulary since he was an adolescent. No matter how hard the teachers tried, they couldn’t persuade him that ‘harass’ was one word.”
And here’s one that takes on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Specter sets up a scenario where Christie’s Shore home was thrashed in a storm, then:
“He didn’t mind too much about the house, but what he really found discouraging was that it destroyed his entire library. Both books. And he wasn’t finished coloring one of them, either.”
Specter says his years in politics provide all the fodder and training he needs.
“Washington has always been one big joke,” said Specter. “Not as big a joke as it is today, but it’s always been a funny house.”
While he has no firm plans for an encore, Specter says if Helium calls, he’ll answer.