|Senator Casey during his turn to solicit laughs from the audience.|
In this era of bitter partisan politics, Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky achieves the impossible. For 22 years, he is organized a candidate's comedy night at Finnegan's Wake that is a must show for those running for political office in southeastern Pennsylvania. Throughout the years, the event, which is held at Finnegan's Wake has raised more than $475,000 for the Variety Club, a charity that helps disabled children. In a gracious gesture, Congressman Brady promised to solicit all the candidates to make sure this year's total would bump the event's total dollars raised to over $500,000.
|Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky|
Senator Bob Casey, his challenger Tom Smith, Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick and Robert Mansfield were among the politicos that performed stand up. Congressmen Jim Gerlach, Chakkah Fattah, and Allyson Schwartz, whose stand in said she could not come because she was busy getting a mani pedi with Nancy Pelosi and Deborah Wasserman Schultz, were the only candidates that did not to attend this year.
This year, I have to declare two winners for best stand-up routine. John Featherman, a Republican Congressional candidate running against incumbent Bob Brady, received the most laughs for his routine about his marriage to a Chinese woman. When he asked for a sexual position that slang users refer to by number on the night of his fourth wedding anniversary, he joked that "his wife asked why he wanted chicken and broccoli."
|Bykofsky with congressional candidate Kathy Bookvar.|
He also good-naturedly ribbed his challenger George Badey, who is a proud Philadelphia Mummer, that J. Edgar Hoover has already done the men in "rouge, red lipstick and tight pants with sequins" dance.
Badey returned the favor by poking fun at Meehan's prep school education. He joked, "When Meehan graduated, he got a horse. When I got graduated, I got a picture of a horse."
Several of the candidates used props in their routine. The Republican candidate for Attorney General David Freed has been criticized for being too close to Governor Tom Corbett so naturally he "took" a call from the Governor during his routine. Republican Senatorial Candidate Tom Smith, who grew up on a farm, prepared an elaborate slide show to introduce himself to the audience. It included a photo-shopped picture of he and his wife in the famous Grant Wood painting "American Gothic". Indian American Manan Travedi, who described his sixth Congressional District as between Philadelphia and fracking, promised not to make any ethnic jokes and then proceeded to answer a call as if he was working at Dell customer service.
Professional comedian Joe Conklin suggested that the dancers from Club Revue were there so that "Congressman Brady would not have the biggest boobs in the room"
Despite his hard work to organize the night, Bykofsky, who is no spring chicken, was the butt of a few jokes. Congressional candidate Badey cracked, "Wasn't Bykofsky the reporter that broke the story about the crack in the Liberty Bell?"
For one night, it seemed that everyone forget the political issues that divide them and united to make the audience laugh. We need more nights like this.