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What’s Weingarten Writing?

The resident Bruce Vilanch* doppelganger at the Washington Post spent time begging this week. That would be Pulitzer Prize-winning Gene Weingarten, who pleaded not for attention, but rather, money.

Gene took to the streets to revolutionize the fine art of panhandling, because…I have no idea why, he must’ve been desperate for material.

Speaking of desperate for material, Gene could use some new jokes. While his efforts were fruitful, he “raised” $71 in just over 3 hours, he did so with rejected jokes from Henny Youngman.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Why do gorillas have big nostrils? Because they have big fingers. (Yes, a booger joke.)
  • What’s Irish and stays out in the rain? Paddy O’Furniture.

I’m not sure “Here’s a dollar, crazy man, please don’t bite me” exactly “revolutionizes” begging. Were a mustachioed man to come up to me reciting jokes like this I’d probably give him a buck too…so he’d go away. But, as Gene put it, he raised the equivalent of $42,000 a year in his three hours of making strangers uncomfortable, so what do I know?

To his credit, after the loot was tallied, Weingarten donated the money to a charity called “Children International,” so it wasn’t a complete bust.

*Bruce Vilanch is head writer for the Oscars, he’s a veteran of The Hollywood Squares and was a co-writer for The Donny & Marie Show.


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