10/19/2004

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Contact: Jonathan Earle, Dole Institute, (785) 864-4900

Dole Institute unveils political humor series featuring Capitol Steps, cartoonists

LAWRENCE -- "Irreverence is in my blood," says Bob Dole, the former presidential candidate and Kansas senator often cited as America's wittiest politician.

So it is only fitting that the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics has announced a new series of programs on political humor featuring the renowned Capitol Steps musical comedy troupe from Washington, D.C., plus editorial cartoonists and some of Kansas' funniest politicians.

"It's not just a coincidence that the two most successful presidents of this century -- Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan -- are also the two who possessed the healthiest sense of humor about themselves and their job, Dole once told The Associated Press while discussing his two books on political humor, "Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House" and "Great Presidential Wit."

The Dole Institute is on the University of Kansas' west campus.

The schedule:

-- Nov. 11: "An Insider's Look at Political Cartoons" featuring Kansas City Star cartoonist Lee Judge, Dallas Morning News cartoonist Bill DeOre and University Daily Kansan cartoonist Zach Stinson, Oak Hill, Va., senior majoring in history of art. 7:30 p.m., Dole Institute.

-- Nov. 18: "Political Humor, Kansas Style" featuring former Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer; KU student and state Rep. Candy Ruff of Leavenworth; and State Sen. David Adkins, who also is vice chancellor of external affairs at the KU Medical Center. 7:30 p.m., Dole Institute.

-- Nov. 21: The Capitol Steps. The comedy troupe comprises former Capitol Hill staffers who satirize political personalities and contemporary issues, relying on political missteps and scandals from sea to shining sea. Recent song titles have included "Osama Come Out, Tomorrow," "Livin' Libido Loco," "Die Nadermouth," "Don't Cry for Me, Judge Scalia" and "It's Not Easy Being Mean," with Bob Dole taking Kermit the Frog's place. Since 1981, Capitol Steps has recorded 23 albums, including its latest, "Between Iraq and a Hard Place." 8 p.m., Lied Center of Kansas.

Tickets for Capitol Steps will be $10 for the general public and $5 for students with current KUIDs. Tickets will be available starting today at the Lied Center box office at (785) 864-ARTS. Box office hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Dole Institute, established at KU in 1997 to honor the former Kansas senator and KU alumnus, is designed to foster new thinking on major policy issues and to encourage student participation and citizen involvement in public service. The institute, housing exhibits and the world's largest congressional archive, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. For more information, call (785) 864-4900 or visit http://www.doleinstitute.org.

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