Pat Paulsen, 69, Comedian


April 26, 1997

Comedian Pat Paulsen, who made a career out of his tongue-in-cheek presidential races, tickling audiences with his slogan "We Cannot Stand Pat," has died. He was 69 and had been battling cancer.

Mr. Paulsen died of complications from pneumonia and kidney failure Thursday in Mexico, where he was undergoing treatment for colon and brain cancer, Beverly Hills publicist Glenn Schwartz said yesterday in Los Angeles. Doctors had said the cancer was inoperable, but Mr. Paulsen had been undergoing alternative treatment.

The comedian with the deadpan face became a household name in 1968 when he announced on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" that he was running for president under the Straight Talkin' American Government Party -- the STAG Party.

Paulsen's contributions to the show won him an Emmy, and by 1972, he was on the ballot for real.

He campaigned in five presidential elections and claimed to have finished second to President Clinton in last year's New Hampshire primary.

Among his campaign promises: improving the Postal Service ("I can lose your mail for half that much") and gun control ("As a sportsman, I believe everyone should have a gun -- for fishing").

At last summer's Democratic National Convention in Chicago, he greeted people with the promise: "If elected, I will win."

In a statement, Tom Smothers called him "a dear friend."

"He was one of the great comedians of our time," Smothers said.

Pub Date: 4/26/97

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