PAT PAULSEN Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Name: Patrick Layton Paulsen                                                           
Born: 6 July 1927 South Bend, Washington                                               
Died: 24 April 1997 Tijuana, Mexico                                                     
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 TV shows,       
and for his campaigns for President of the 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.               
Paulsen was born in South Bend, Washington, a small fishing town in Pacific             
County. When he was 10, the whole family moved to California.                           
After graduating from Tamalpais High School, in Mill Valley, Paulsen immediately       
joined the U.S. Marines during World War II. Paulsen returned home after the war       
and worked several jobs, including working as a posting clerk, truck driver, hod       
carrier, selling Fuller brushes, toiling in a gypsum mine and later he was             
employed as a photostat operator for several years. After attending San                 
Francisco City College, Paulsen joined an acting group called "The Ric-y-tic           
Players" and formed a comedy trio which included his brother Lorin.                     
Paulsen went on to become a single 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.                             
In 1967, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour premiered. Paulsen said he was hired         
because he sold them cheap 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. Early in 1969, 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 Vice President of the United States Hubert Humphrey         
and an animated Daffy Duck, the latter of whom was interiewed by Paulsen.               
The comedian was approached by the 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."                                                                         
Paulsen's campaign that year, and in succeeding years, was grounded in comedy,         
while not bereft of serious commentary. He ran the supposed campaigns using             
obvious lies, double talk, and tongue-in-cheek attacks on the major candidates,         
and responded to all criticism with his catch phrase "Picky, picky, picky". His         
campaign slogan was "Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny."     
Paulsen's name appeared on the ballot in New Hampshire for the Democratic               
Primary several times. In 1996 he received 921 votes (1%) to finish second to           
President Bill Clinton (76,754 votes). In 1992 he came in second to George Bush         
in the North Dakota Republican Primary.                                                 
During later years, Paulsen appeared in nightclubs, theaters, and conventions           
throughout the country. He also appeared each summer in Traverse City, Michigan,       
at the Cherry County Playhouse where he produced and starred in some 25                 
different plays, including The Fantasticks, The Odd Couple, Harvey, and The             
Sunshine Boys.                                                                         
He died of complications from colon and brain cancer and pneumonia in Tijuana,         
Mexico, April 25, 1997.