The Funniest Guy In Washington: An Oxymoron? Or Austan Goolsbee?

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Austan Goolsbee is a funny guy–for an economist. (I kid.) But he lives in a town, Washington, D.C., that is not funny, unless you are laughing at us, which is rather easy to do. So depending on how you look at it, he either has a low bar or a high bar to clear before becoming D.C.’s funniest person, which he did Thursday night. As Goolsbee, who wears his White House staff badge throughout his stand up routine, says at the end: “Have some sympathy for those people that are unemployed, because when Rahm Emanuel sees my comments from this evening, I’m going to be one of them.” (Among his more controversial targets: Sarah “Wingnut” Palin, Sen. Ben “Benedict Arnold” Nelson, and Barack “born in a village in Kenya” Obama.) He takes a while to warm up, but it’s worth it–by Washington standards.

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Goolsbee was not the only performer. Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher showed up. And so did Sen. Nelson, the old practical joker.

Famous DC has these quips from Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson:

“To be recognized in Washington for something other than picking up women in North Korea or ditching them in Argentina is a welcome change of pace. “

“Obviously, this honor is a lot easier to accept without the public option.”

After mentioning some of the women journalists in the crowd: “It used to be when you talked about female anchors, you were talking about Sarah Palin’s impact on John McCain.”

“We really need to stop this push to demand birth certificates from our elected officials-it would really be a pain if Senator Byrd had to roll out those stone tablets every time he ran for re-election!”