HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Congressional Chuckles

Posted October 1, 2009 at 11:16am

The funniest celebrity in Washington doesn’t hail from Congress (at least according to the charity competition last night at the DC Improv), but the legislative branch did put in a respectable effort.[IMGCAP(1)]Although White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee took the title, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) were among the performers. A few Congressional highlights: Larsen proved to be funnier than most (who knew?), getting laughs with an edgy line at the expense of his fellow Members. He noted that a colleague who voted against the resolution rebuking Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for heckling President Barack Obama during a joint address to Congress did so because “he wanted to preserve the right to call the next Republican president a ‘dumbs—.’— And his aim extended to the Senate, with this insider-y joke: Larsen noted that Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) (who is set to retire) said he was surprised that Obama had said his health care plan wouldn’t raise taxes. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) responded by saying “he was shocked to hear that Jim Bunning was still in the Senate.— Ba-dum-bum.Larsen chief of staff Kim Johnston told HOH that her boss has only a little prior experience with stand-up comedy. “It’s mostly on an informal level around the office,— she said, although he has emceed Washington state society events and performed at a comedy fundraiser for Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).Nelson, too, took a good-natured jab at a colleague, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), noting that the recent craze for demanding that public officials produce their birth certificates would be hard on the nonagenarian. After all he’d have to haul out “stone tablets— documenting his birth, Nelson yukked. Dog Days of Fall. Forget Bono — the most popular celebs on Capitol Hill on Wednesday were a lovable pooch and a fluffy feline.OK, so maybe Bono is a pretty big deal. But Rocky, the Rottweiler that plays “Ahnold— on HBO’s “Entourage,— and Raleigh, the white cat that played “Sprinkles— on the NBC sitcom “The Office— (until her character met a tragic death in a freezer), still were a pretty big hit when they appeared at “Celebrity Pet Night— in the Cannon Caucus Room.The lovable pets appeared on behalf of the Animal Health Institute, which hosted the 12th annual reception to raise awareness about the connection between animal health and the health of their people.Several Members had their photos taken with the animal celebs, including Reps. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.), Henry Brown (R-S.C.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.).The institute is planning to post the photos on its Web site, according to a spokeswoman.Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.Can’t get enough HOH? Get a midday dose of fun and gossip with HOH’s One-Minute Recess, delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here — because everyone deserves more recess.