Pat Paulsen

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Patrick Layton Paulsen (July 6, 1927April 24, 1997) was an American comedian and satirist notable for his roles on several of the Smothers Brothers television shows, and for his supposed campaigns for President of the United States in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996, which had primarily comedic rather than political objectives.

Sourced[edit]

  • The radio and press have once again chewed off more than they can bite. They continue to confuse personality with politics. They seem to assume that I'm lying when I state that I am not a candidate for the Presidency. True, all the present candidates once denied they had any intention of running. But the fact that I am also a liar, doesn't make me a candidate.
  • I've repeatedly warned we must avoid the extremists: those who say we should pull out our troops in Vietnam immediately, those who say we should escalate and go right into North Vietnam... I tell you, we should continue doing what we have been: just messing around.
    • Unidentified press conference, 1968
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 2 of 6, 01:01 ff (10:01 ff in full program)
  • As a keen political observer, I've noticed that most people do not really vote for someone for the Presidency as much as they vote against the other candidate. And I think President Johnston's [sic] decision was unfair to these people.
    • Referring to President Johnson's decision not to run for re-election
    • Unidentified press conference, 1968
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 2 of 6, 01:30 ff (10:30 ff in full program)
  • I ask you, will I solve our civil rights problems? Will I unite this country and bring it forward? Will I obliterate the national debt? [long pause] Sure, why not? Thank you.
    • Unidentified press conference, 1968
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 2 of 6, 01:54 ff (10:54 ff in full program)
  • A good many people today feel our present draft laws are unjust. These people are called soldiers. In one of the arguments against the draft, we hear it is unfair, immoral, discourages young men from studying, ruins their careers and their lives. Picky, picky, picky! We propose a draft lottery, in which the names of all eligible males will be put into a hat, and the men will be drafted according to their hat sizes. The tiny heads will go into the military service, and the fat heads will go into government.
    • "An Editorial: Are Our Draft Laws Unfair?", The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, unidentified episode
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 2 of 6, 02:42 ff (11:42 ff in full program)
    • Alternative version archived at "Should Television Shows Be Censored?", Paulsen.com, October 29, 1967
  • After all, the leaders of our country were not elected to be tittered at. Censors have to draw the line somewhere. For instance, we are allowed to say Ronald Reagan is a lousy actor, but we're not allowed to say he's a lousy governor – which is ridiculous. We know he's a good actor. And you can't say anything bad about President Johnston [sic], because you shouldn't insult the President. But if you compliment him, who will believe it?
    • "An Editorial: Should TV Be Censored?", The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, unidentified episode
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 2 of 6, 05:01 ff (14:01 ff in full program)
    • Alternative version archived at "Should Television Shows Be Censored?", Paulsen.com, January 7, 1968
  • Many political experts have told me that nobody will vote for me because America is not ready for such decisive and dynamic leadership. They tell me these things, and I say nay to the negative nincompoops who never nourished the nihilistic nerve to name a novice to nail down the nomination.
    • Unidentified press conference, 1968
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 2 of 6, 07:20 ff (16:20 ff in full program)
    • Note: Despite the similarity, this would appear not to be a parody of Vice President Spiro Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativism", which is from a September 11, 1970 speech.
  • Left-wing or right-wing. No, I'm not either. I'm kind of middle-of-the-bird.
    • Responding to audience question, "Are you left-wing or right-wing?"
    • Unidentified press conference, 1968
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 3 of 6, 02:49 ff (20:49 ff in full program)
  • Here and now, I am hereby publicly challenging all of the other leading candidates to debate on the issues of the campaign. I challenge Ronald Reagan to meet me on his home grounds, the back lot of Warner Brothers. And I challenge Herbert Humphrey [sic] to debate on his home grounds. I do have some reservations about meeting George Wallace on his home grounds, but I'm willing to meet him on a neutral site in Harlem.
    • Unidentified press conference, 1968
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 3 of 6, 07:43 ff (25:43 ff in full program)
  • I've conducted my campaign thus far in the true American political tradition: I lied about my intention to run [...] I have been consistently vague on all the issues [...] Therefore I promise you all, my fellow Americans, that I will continue to make promises that I will be unable to fulfill.
    • Unidentified rally, 1968
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 4 of 6, 06:22 ff (33:22 ff in full program)
  • I do not claim that I can solve all the world's problems by myself. If I did, I'd have to run as a Republican or a Democrat.
    • Unidentified dinner, 1968
    • Featured in Pat Paulsen for President (1968), part 6 of 6, 02:32 ff (47:32 ff in full program)
  • ... let's all remember that we have a government "of the people, for the people, and by the people", and there are very few people in our government that you can't buy.

External links[edit]

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