, California , United States
|| July 06, 1927
|| April 24, 1997
Feb 16, 2008 08:39pm
|Info||Pat Paulsen was born in a small fishing village in Washington State. Pat doesn't remember much about his early childhood - "I was too young," he explains. |
He does remember heading down to California when he was 10 - the whole family riding in a 1929 Hupmobile with a mattress on top and pots and pans hanging out the windows." We weren't exactly homeless but we may as well have been."
The family settled at Point Bonita, a rocky promitory across from San Francisco where Pats father Norman Paulsen was a member of the Coast Guard. Pat enjoyed a climbing the rugged cliffs, swimming in the choppy waves and digging for clams. " A clam can be a good friend... Who else would stick their neck out for you?"
Graduating from Ft. Barry Grade School, Pat ranked second in his class. A somewhat misleading statement since Ward Foster was the only other one in the class. Pat and Ward went on to attend Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California - Tamalpais being the High School that spawned actress Eve Arden and music star Huey Lewis.
After graduating from Tamalpais, Pat immediately joined the U.S. Marines during World War II. "I wanted to be a hero so girls would dig me." But before Pat was shipped overseas, the atom bomb was dropped, ending the war and Pat's dreams of a medal of honor. Nevertheless he ended up in China guarding the first Japanese prisoners of war stationed in Beijing (then Peiping) with the First Marine Division Fifth Regiment. " We were surrounded by the communists but never attacked. Many people think I was captured by their troops who installed a receiver in my head which keeps commanding me to run for President."
Honorably discharged, Pat returned home, unbowed and unmedaled. He worked as a posting clerk, truck driver, hod carrier, sold Fuller Brushes, toiled in a gypsum mine and later was employed as a photostat operator for several years.
Eventually he attended San Francisco City College where he signed up for a pre-forestry course, hoping to someday become a forest ranger like his friend Dave Murray. One day while watching a rehearsal of an English play called "Night Must Fall", Pat became keenly aware that there were girls enrolled in drama class. This necessitated changing his major to drama. Plays Pat appeared in at that time included "The Man Who Came To Dinner", The Vagabond King" and "Twelfth Night" where Pat played the clown Feste. "I was shocked to find it was a play from a foreign country - but was written in English!!"
After leaving City College, Pat joined an acting group called "The Ric-y-tic Players", a group dedicated to doing funny revues. "We made a theatre out of an old barn near Santa Rosa, California. We were funny but nobody showed up to watch us being funny. So we disbanded."
Pat and his brother Lorin later put together a comedy trio. The group achieved some success in San Francisco but shortly split up. His brother Lorin still performs his highly praised lecture on Abraham Lincoln (cleverly titled "Abe") which gets him accolades at colleges, high schools and other events where culture is appreciated. Pat abhors culture and is mainly interested in money and material things.
After the trio broke up, Pat became a single act and something of a staple during the folk club craze, appearing as a comedic guitarist at such places as The Ice House in Pasadena, The Troubadour in Los Angeles, The Gaslight in New York and The Purple Onion in San Francisco.
It was at The Purple Onion the Pat met The Smothers Brothers. Impressed with their talent, he thought he could make a "pile of money" if he sold them some of his songs. The Smothers Brothers took two of his songs and gave him forty bucks.
In 1967, the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour premiered. Pat was hired because he sold them cheap songs and would run errands. At first he was cast as their editorialist and his double talk comments on the issues of the day propelled him into the national consciousness. "I felt I was saying real important things and also I got a lot more money."
Pat was later approached by the Smothers Brothers with the idea of running for President. Pat's reply was "Why not? I can't dance - besides, the job has a good pension plan and I'll get a lot of money whan I retire."
Pat's campaign was based in comedy and he ran it using outright lies, double talk and unfounded attacks on his challengers. Who would have thought this style would be the method of campaigns in the future? His work on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour earned Pat an Emmy in 1968.
Pat currently appears in nightclubs, theatres and conventions throughout the country. He also appears each summer in Muskegon, Michigan at the Cherry County Playhouse where he has produced and starred in some twenty-five different plays, including "Greater Tuna", "Noises Off", "The Fantastics", "The Odd Couple", "Harvey", and "The Sunshine Boys".
Pat recently recieved the International Platform Association's prestigious "Mark Twain Award" for his outstanding work in the field of comedy, joining the likes of Art Buchwald, Mark Russell and Steve Allen, to name a few.
Pat was recently seen as a regular on the original " Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" on "E! Entertainment Channel" weekly. Also, watch for his recent home video releases, "Pat Paulsen's Greatest TV Bits" & "Pat Paulsen for President" narrated by Henry Fonda which are available along with his Campaign collectibles right here in the Internet! Pat thinks it will make him alot of money.