Comic Pat Paulsen, the former Smothers Brothers sidekick who made a career out of hilarious runs for the presidency, has inoperable brain cancer, his daughter said Tuesday.
Paulsen, 69, had colon cancer surgery two years ago and underwent chemotherapy, but doctors recently told him the cancer had spread to his brain and throughout his lymph system, Terri Paulsen said.
“According to the doctors here in this country, the prognosis is zip. There’s nothing they can do. They said, ‘We can’t do anything more for you,”’ his daughter told The Associated Press from the Paulsen home in suburban Tujunga.
But Paulsen’s family urged the entertainer to seek unorthodox therapies in Mexico and “many of the treatments are working.” She wouldn’t divulge the nature of the treatments.
“Our philosophy is we want families to seek out alternative treatments,” Terri Paulsen said. “Just 2-1/2 weeks ago he couldn’t sit up. Today, he took a little walk with the walker, he took a shower.”
Paulsen, weak from earlier chemotherapy, was shaving Tuesday afternoon and couldn’t come to the telephone. But he joked earlier that his Mexico visits had secondary purposes.
“A lot of those people will be registered voters in L.A. in the year 2000,” he told the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa.
The deadpan comedian 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. He won an Emmy that year and by 1972 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.
“If elected, I will win,” he said while roaming the halls of the United Center at last summer’s Democratic Convention in Chicago.
Paulsen lived on a ranch south of Cloverdale in the Sonoma County wine country, where he produced award-winning wine. He lost the property and winery in 1992 when he divorced his second wife.
Paulsen continued to perform until last November, two months before he learned about the brain cancer.
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