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It's Funny Business as Usual


"Joe the Plumber," piping in during the Funniest Celebrity in Washington contest. (Dan Zak/The Washington Post)


The funniest celebrity in Washington is Austan Goolsbee and, yes, you are pardoned for not knowing who that is. He's one of the White House's wiry economists. He won first place at the annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington contest Wednesday, reports our colleague Dan Zak, triumphing over eight other similarly sorta-famous locals with -- well, you remember Kevin Nealon's Mr. Subliminal muttering-under-his-breath routine on "Saturday Night Live"?

Goolsbee: "I would like to say one thing about major banks (ungrateful [expletives]) ..." He later used the same tone to call Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who was there, "(Benedict Arnold)" for voting against a health-care public option. And similarly about himself: "(future Fed chair)."

Ah, you had to be there. But did you really want to be? The city's media-political-lobbying class paid $200 to $5,000 to get into the annual charity event which, as we reported on Tuesday, has failed to direct any funds to its charity beneficiaries in the past five years. At least one sponsor, Motion Picture Association of America chief Dan Glickman, gave his $5K directly to make sure it reached this year's charity, Stand Up for Kids, but showed up anyway to tell Jewish-mother jokes. Mostly, the scandal was just cause for humor: "I talked to Tim Geithner," riffed US News's Anna Mulrine, "and he said he ran the whole thing through TurboTax, so it's fine."

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) won third place. "Democrats want illegal immigrants to be able to serve on the death panels," he said, "and Republicans want death panels to only serve illegal immigrants."

McCain '08 mascot "Joe the Plumber" competed, as did anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist, who offered up an Obama plan for cutting prescription drug costs: "At age 70 everybody has to become a Christian Scientist."

The raunchiest contestant: restaurateur Geoff Tracy, who with NBC News-er wife Norah O'Donnell is among the cutest of D.C. super-cute couples.

By The Reliable Source  |  October 2, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
 
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