Mayoral jokes: The candidates share their best

February 21, 2011

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With the polls set to open just hours from now, we felt the need for a bit of fun after so much exhaustion. Don’t get us wrong: we love policy papers, press conferences and stump speeches as much as the next Chicago media outlet. But every now and then, we want to laugh.

Gery Chico laughing following a debate on WGN-TV in late January.

So we asked each of the six candidates for Chicago mayor to tell us their favorite joke. They all agreed, though we’re not sure these are their favorites. (They all seem a bit too clean.)

We played these jokes this weekend at the Paper Machete, a live variety show in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. (Click "Listen to this Story" above to hear the live version, with an introduction by host Christopher Piatt. Producer Tim Mata recorded the show.) But here are the jokes themselves, in alphabetical order by candidate. Pick your favorites. And when you’re criticizing their comedic timing, keep this in mind: at least they don’t take themselves so seriously that they can’t stop for a moment and tell a joke.

Gery Chico goes with a Packers joke.

CHICO GERY JOKE.mp3

Miguel del Valle goes for the jugular.

DEL VALLE MIGUEL JOKE.mp3

Rahm Emanuel picks a short one.

EMANUEL RAHM JOKE.mp3

Carol Moseley Braun, organic entrepreneur that she is, tells a food joke.

MOSELEY BRAUN CAROL JOKE.mp3

Patricia Van Pelt Watkins tells the grossest joke.

VAN PELT WATKINS PATRICIA JOKE.mp3

William “Dock” Walls goes political.

WALLS WILLIAM DOCK JOKE.mp3

We tried to get Mayor Richard Daley, our resident expert on mayoral humor, to weigh in on the candidates’ jokes. His office did not respond. So instead we turn to another former mayor (for a week, at least), David Orr.

Cook County clerk makes no clear endorsement in mayoral joke-off.

ORR DAVID JUDGE.mp3

And there you have it. Along with issue positions, debate performances, newspaper endorsements and TV commercials to consider when you cast your ballot, you now also have some attempts at humor.