The Info List - Pat Paulsen

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


1 Early life and education 2 Career in comedy 3 Political campaigns 4 Winemaking 5 Personal life and death 6 Discography 7 Quotes 8 Bibliography 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Early life and education[edit] Paulsen was born in South Bend, Washington, a small fishing town in Pacific County. He was the son of Beulah Inez (née Fadden) and Norman Inge Paulsen, a Norwegian immigrant who worked for the Coast Guard.[1][2] When he was 10, the family moved to California. After graduating from Tamalpais High School
Tamalpais High School
in Mill Valley
Mill Valley
in May 1945, Paulsen immediately joined the United States
United States
Marines. World War II was still being waged at that time, but it ended before he was shipped overseas. However, he did experience overseas duty, including guarding captured Japanese soldiers during their repatriation.[1] He returned home after the war and worked as a posting clerk, a truck driver, a hod carrier, a Fuller Brush salesman, and a gypsum miner. Later, he was employed as a photostat operator for several years. After attending San Francisco
San Francisco
City College, Paulsen joined an acting group called "The Ric-y-tic Players," and he formed a comedy trio that included his brother Lorin. Career in comedy[edit]

1965 publicity photo of Paulsen

Paulsen went on to become a solo act, appearing as a comedic guitarist in various clubs on the West Coast and in New York City. During one of his appearances in San Francisco, he met the Smothers Brothers. The Smothers Brothers
Smothers Brothers
Comedy Hour premiered in 1967. Paulsen said he was hired because he sold them inexpensive songs and would run errands. At first, he was cast as their editorialist, and his deadpan, double-talk comments on the issues of the day propelled him into the national consciousness. (His deadpan work was nearly flawless: on one isolated occasion, in a talk about Hawaii, he defined a "wahine" as something you put on a bu-hun with lots of mu-hustard. His composure started to crack, but he recovered.) His work on The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour earned Paulsen an Emmy in 1968.[3] In addition to his work with the Smothers Brothers, Paulsen made a memorable guest appearance on The Monkees, appearing in the 1967 episode "Monkees Watch Their Feet," playing the Secretary of National Defense. He also made many appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In 1968, Paulsen appeared as timid, tenderfoot Federal Agent Bosley Cranston in "The Night of the Camera," Season 4/Episode 10 of The Wild Wild West. Pat's character had a photographic memory and ended up with the "girl(s)," much to the surprise of agents James West (Robert Conrad) and Jeremy Pike (Charles Aidman). During the inaugural season of Sesame Street
Sesame Street
(1969–1970), Paulsen appeared in a series of comical skits: reciting the alphabet, and fumbling on a few of the letters; counting to 10 and to 20, and forgetting a few of the numbers; and talking about the word "full" with a wastebasket full of wastepaper that falls out the bottom of the basket, forcing him to talk about the word "empty" instead. He was prominently featured in the 1970 Get Smart
Get Smart
episode "The Mess of Adrian Listenger." Early in 1970, Paulsen headlined his own series, Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour, which ran 13 weeks on ABC. Guests on the first show were former US Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and an animated Daffy Duck, whom Paulsen interviewed. In 1971, Paulsen performed in the play Play It Again, Sam at Cherry County Playhouse in Traverse City, Michigan. He enjoyed this professional summer-stock theater so much that, in 1976, he became business partners with television writer and producer Neil Rosen and bought Cherry County Playhouse. He starred in a production every summer, with the exception of 1973, all the way through the 1995 season. He ended up starring in 24 different plays, including The Fantasticks, The Odd Couple, Harvey, and The Sunshine Boys. Also, during these later years, he appeared in nightclubs, theaters, and conventions throughout the country. In 1984, Paulsen costarred in the film Night Patrol, a vehicle for The Unknown Comic. Political campaigns[edit] Paulsen was approached by the Smothers Brothers
Smothers Brothers
with the idea of running for president in 1968. His reply, he was later to recount, was, "Why not? I can't dance—besides, the job has a good pension plan, and I'll get a lot of money when I retire." The dance crack was a reference to actor/dancer George Murphy, then a U.S. senator representing California. Paulsen's campaign in 1968, and in succeeding years, was grounded in comedy, although not without serious commentary. He ran the supposed campaigns using obvious lies, double talk, and tongue-in-cheek attacks on the major candidates, and he responded to all criticism with his catchphrase "Picky, picky, picky." His campaign slogan was, "Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny." Every question on social issues received basically the same response: "I feel that it is too directly bound to its own anguish to be anything other than a cry of negation, carrying within itself the seeds of its own destruction. However, to get to the meat of the matter, I will come right to the point, and take note of the fact that the heart of the issue in the final analysis escapes me."[4] Paulsen's name appeared on the ballot in New Hampshire
New Hampshire
for the Democratic primary several times. In 1996, he received 921 votes (1%) to finish second to President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
(76,754 votes); this was actually ahead of real politicians such as Buffalo mayor James D. Griffin. In 1992, he came in second to George Bush in the North Dakota Republican Primary. In the 1992 Republican Party primaries, he received 10,984 votes total. Winemaking[edit] In 1971, Paulsen and his wife opened Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
Vineyards, a successful vineyard and winemaking operation in Sonoma County, California.[5] Shortly after the actor Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
won election as mayor of Carmel, California, Paulsen invented the office of "mayor" of Asti, the small town near his vineyard, and proclaimed himself to have assumed the office.[6] Personal life and death[edit] In the 1980s, Paulsen struck up a relationship with a social worker, Linda Chaney, whom he met at a Denver comedy club. Chaney soon began serving as Paulsen's booking agent, and in 1988 Paulsen and Chaney married. However, Paulsen was notified that she was diverting his funds into her own personal accounts, and he filed for divorce after only 40 days. He later sued Chaney and was awarded a judgement of $233,000, about which Chaney said that, even if she had the money, she would rather "go out and shred it rather than turn it over" to Paulsen.[7] In 1995, Paulsen was diagnosed with colon cancer, and in early 1997, it was discovered that the cancer had spread to his brain and lymph nodes.[8] He sought alternative medicine treatment for his cancer in Tijuana, Mexico. Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
died there from complications of pneumonia and kidney failure on April 24, 1997.[3] Discography[edit]

Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
for President (1968) Live at the Ice House (1970) Unzipped (1998)


"All the problems we face in the United States
United States
today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian." "I don't want to say too much about illegal immigration. I'm afraid my views will be reported on the Cinco O'Clock News."[9] On the Miranda warning: "Why should we tell kidnappers, murderers, and embezzlers their rights? If they don't know their rights, they shouldn't be in the business." "A good many people feel that our present draft laws are unjust. These people are called soldiers." "Sex doesn't have to be taught. It's something most of us are born with." When originally "denying" he was running, borrowing from General William Sherman in 1884: "I will not run if nominated, and if elected I will not serve." Presidential campaign slogan: "I've upped my standards. Now, up yours." Presidential campaign slogan: "If elected, I will win."[3] Campaign supporters' rallying cry: "We can't stand Pat!"[3] "We have nothing to fear but fear itself...and of course the boogieman." "I am neither left wing nor right wing. I am middle-of-the-bird." "If either the right wing or the left wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles." " Marijuana
should be licensed and kept out of the hands of teenagers. It's too good for them." When asked if he believed in the right to bear arms: "No, I believe in the right to arm bears." On network censorship: "I feel proud to be living in a country where people are not afraid to laugh at themselves and where political satire is tolerated by the government, if not the television network." On network censorship: " Censorship
does not interfere with the constitutional rights of every American to sit alone in the dark, in the nude and cuss. But let's face it; there have to be some realistic taboos ... especially with political comment. After all, the leaders of our country were not elected to be tittered at. The 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 Johns(t)on ... because you shouldn't insult the President ... but if you compliment him ... who will believe it?"[10] On his political affiliation: "I belong to the Straight Talking American Government Party, or STAG Party for short."[3]


Paulsen, Pat (1972). How to wage a successful campaign for the Presidency. Nash Pub. ISBN 978-0840212580. 

See also[edit]

Biography portal World War II
World War II
portal United States
United States
Marine Corps portal

List of notable brain tumor patients


^ a b " Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
Biography". Paulsen.com. Retrieved 4 February 2015.  ^ Armstrong, Alice Catt (1997). Who's who in California, Volume 26. Who's Who Historical Society. p. 363.  ^ a b c d e Grimes, William (April 26, 1997). "Pat Paulsen, 69, a Parodist Of Presidential Doubletalk". The New York Times.  ^ Williams, Mason (1968). Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
for President. Kragen/Fritz. p. 131. ASIN B0007ET48I.  ^ http://www.ppvwines.com/pages/about-us ^ articles.latimes.com/1986-05-18/local/me-21025_1_comedian-pat-paulsen ^ Sanz, Cynthia; Knapp, Dan (19 November 1990). "Stalked by Tax Woes, Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
Tries to Keep His Whine Sparkling". People Magazine (34.20). Retrieved 26 March 2015.  ^ Kleinberg, Jody (2 April 1997). " Comedian
Undergoes Cancer Treatment". Sarasota Herald Tribune. 72 (181): 3B. Retrieved 26 March 2015.  ^ " Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
Quotes". Paulsen.com. Retrieved 4 February 2015.  ^ Paulsen, Pat (7 January 1968). "Should Television Shows Be Censored?". Paulsen.com. 

Further reading[edit]

" Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
for President!: America's Favorite Also-Ran!" article by Wayne Hicks, Filmfax magazine, May–July 2016, number 144 (cover). Filmfax, Inc., Evanston, Illinois USA. Four pages (70-73) with 17 photographs.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pat Paulsen.

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Pat Paulsen

Official website Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
on IMDb Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
at Find a Grave

v t e

Primetime Emmy Award
Emmy Award
for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program

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