Amy Klobuchar divulges secret comedy tips
Her reputation is such that Politico went to her the other day seeking unsolicited advice for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who face the unenviable task of trying to make journalists laugh tonight at the annual Congressional Dinner. It's a benefit for the National Press Club.
"Well, journalists tend to be a little cynical and so finding that spot where you're not going overboard but still funny is a challenge." She offered a few tips for this year's entertainment.
Tip one: "You have to be able to poke fun at yourself and at your own party," she said.
Tip two: Try out your jokes. Klobuchar said she did a test run of her gig in the Senate cloakroom in front of John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd.
Tip three: Go with the flow. "Part of it is just the verve and enjoyment, you can tell if someone likes doing it or not, whether they are a Republican or a Democrat."
Tip four: Have a line ready. If a joke goes bad, "move on," Klobuchar said. "I had this one line in my head I was going to use--it was 'Hey guys, I'm only five minutes into this and it's shorter than a Joe Biden soundbite.' I used it when I flubbed a joke."
What folks in Washington may not know is that, as the daughter of long-time Star Tribune reporter Jim Klobuchar, making journalists laugh may come as second nature to Amy Klobuchar's.As she told last year's Washington Press Club Foundation dinner:
As I mentioned, my dad spent his life as a journalist. He wrote for fifty years and is still writing....he was first with the AP, then he was a sportswriter and then a columnist for a very long time at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. When he was with the AP, he wrote the story that went around the world...it called the race for Kennedy in 1960 when it was so close but the votes from the Iron Range of Minnesota where my dad grew up were still out and he knew that they would go Democratic and then Minnesota would go Democratic and then Kennedy would win. The story called it for Kennedy.
My dad came up at a time when newspapers were flourishing. He came from an iron ore mining town where my grandpa worked 1500 feet underground. Through journalism, my dad was able to see the world. He interviewed everyone from Ronald Reagan to Ginger Rogers to Mike Ditka. He covered the '68 convention, he covered Watergate and he was nominated for a Pulitzer prize. But throughout it all, he knew that his job was to be a witness to history, to tell the stories that defined his time.
Now I know that things, despite the jokes are much tougher for newspapers and journalists, but your responsibility today is just as great. You are the witnesses to these turbulent times, the reporters who will document forever whether we fail or succeed, whether we are courageous or timid. This may be the most momentous time in our lives and you will bear witness to it. Now we each have our jobs to do.