Showtime! Candidates Comedy Night is approaching

I WAS LOOKING for a moniker to hang on this November's election. We've had the Year of the Woman, the Tea Party Revolt, the Year of the Minority, the Year of the Older White Man. (Oh! That's every year. Sorry.)

I wanted a catchphrase as I announce the 24th annual Stu Bykofsky Candidates Comedy Night, which will be held Thursday, Aug. 14, at its longtime home, Finnigan's Wake, 3rd and Spring Garden streets.

This year Pennsylvanians will elect a governor, and across the commonwealth (and elsewhere) Americans will be voting to either keep (usually the case) or dismiss their duly elected congressional reps.

The Candidates Comedy Night may show off entertainment ability on the part of the candidates, but it certainly raises money for Variety, the Children's Charity - the beneficiary of the show since its second year. (There was no designated charity in 1991 because who thought I'd do it more than once?) Through last year, the show, thanks to the candidates' willingness, has raised $475,000. This year we expect to break the $500,000 mark.


The most unusual political promise this cycle comes from Republican Dee Adcock, running in the 13th Congressional District for the seat vacated by Allyson Schwartz. He promises to donate "my entire after-tax paycheck to local charitable organizations here in Northeast Philly and Montgomery County." Dee has done the show before.

His opponent, show virgin (and former state rep) Brendan Boyle, won a rough four-way contest to become the Democratic standard-bearer.

Talking about virgins (that word may drive online hits), Republican Megan Rath has the exquisite pleasure of challenging longtime U.S. Rep. Bob Brady to represent the 1st Congressional District. Rath is a Connecticut native and a Penn State grad who's lived in "fantastic" Philadelphia for a decade, she says. Her for-profit job is selling hip, knee and shoulder replacements to doctors, and she stands with them in the operating room to supervise the, um, installation. Ewww.

In the 6th Congressional District, veteran, medical doctor and Democrat Manan Trivedi is gunning for the seat vacated by Jim Gerlach. His opponent is Republican newbie Ryan Costello.

In the 7th, incumbent Republican Pat Meehan faces a challenge from Democrat Mary Ellen Balchunis, who has been a political operative and taught political science at La Salle.

In the 8th, another virgin Democrat is facing an incumbent Republican, Mike Fitzpatrick, who lost his seat in a 2006 squeaker to Patrick Murphy, an Iraq vet, then rebounded. Now he's facing Democrat Kevin Strouse, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Ranger and then worked for the CIA.

Did I forget anyone?

Only the headliners: the gubernatorial candidates, the two Toms. Wolf the Democrat is a first-time candidate and show virgin. Corbett is the current governor, in case you had not heard.

The professorial Wolf reminds me of Mr. Rogers. Former prosecutor Corbett reminds me of Roy Rogers.

Four years ago, Corbett became actor Leslie Nielsen for the show. I don't know what he or Wolf will pull this year.

You can find out by ordering tickets (the show starts at 8 p.m.) - $75 for a seat, $750 for a reserved table of 10.

To buy tickets, make out a check to Variety and mail it to Variety, Comedy Show, 2950 Potshop Road, PO Box 609, Worcester, Pa. 19490. Credit-card orders: Call Eric Perry at 215-735-0803, ext. 11. Tables are assigned in the order of checks received.




Phone: 215-854-5977

On Twitter: @StuBykofsky