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Arlen Specter is no stranger to the world of comedy. In fact, next to politics, it may be the field that earns him the most headlines. That's why it was no surprise when Senator Specter took the stage at the Pittsburgh Improv on Thursday night to benefit Allegheny county's Music Festival Fund for children.
Most of the material he used was recycled from the 2007 routine he performed at the "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. (He finished second after Joseph Randazzo, assistant editor of the "The Onion," but ahead of Ana Marie Cox.) But he did throw in jabs at town hall protesters and Sarah Palin.
"Arlen has always loved stand up comics," says Joan Specter. "If he has the chance to go to a comedy show, that's his first choice."
Sometimes this jovial nature gets him in trouble, like when he cracked Polish jokes at New York's Rainbow Room while speaking at the annual meeting of the Commonwealth Club. The "New York Post" reported that Specter began by asking if anyone in the room was Polish. At that, around 10 people raised their hands. He proceeded to tell a few jokes about Polish people until one guest interrupted him, saying, "Hey, careful. I'm Polish!" Specter responded, "That's OK, I'll tell it more slowly." This was met with grumblings of tastlessness, and Specter eventually apologized saying it was a mistake.
Here's Arlen stand-up from this week (in two parts), and below is his routine from the 2007 "Funniest Celebrity in DC Contest":