April 26, 1997 in Nation/World

Perennial ‘Candidate’ Pat Paulsen, 69, Dies Droopy-Faced Comedian Succumbs To Cancer

Robert Jablon Associated Press
 

Pat Paulsen, the deadpan, droopy-faced comic whose career was launched on the Smothers Brothers’ TV show and sustained by satirical campaigns for the White House, has died. He was 69.

Paulsen, who had colon and brain cancer, died Thursday in Mexico from pneumonia and kidney failure after recent surgery to remove scar tissue from previous surgery, publicist Glenn Schwartz said Friday.

Doctors had said Paulsen’s cancer was inoperable. He had been undergoing alternative cancer treatment in Mexico for about a month. “His cancer was under control,” Schwartz said.

He did not know the nature of the treatments or where Paulsen had died.

Paulsen made his name on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” in 1968 when he announced that he was running for president under the S.T.A.G. (Straight Talking American Government) Party. He won an Emmy that year.

“He was a dear friend and a great part of the Smothers Brothers’ success was due to him,” Tom Smothers said in a statement.

Paulsen became a perennial presidential candidate. He was on the ballot for real in 1972. All told, he campaigned in five presidential elections and claimed to have finished second to President Clinton in last year’s New Hampshire primary.

“If elected, I will win,” he said at last summer’s Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Dressed in a dapper suit, the stone-faced Paulsen would blandly recite a platform that combined loony one-liners and sarcasm.

Patrick L. Paulsen was born July 6, 1927, in a fishing village in South Bend, Wash. His family later moved to the San Francisco Bay area.

He is survived by his wife, Noma, three children, a sister and his brother.


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