I. On previous web page:
Keynote Speech, 20-90 minutes:
"How Humor WINS Elections"
Half-Day Program,
1-6 hours:
"Interactive Skills:
seducing the opposition"
Half-Day Program,
1-6 hours:
"21st Century
Campaign Tactics"
Half-Day Program, 1-6 hours:
"Sound Bites that
Get Results"
National headlines, local events:
Jim predicts that
Bill's letter-writing campaign will backfire
when Jim's interviewed 5/11/98 in
Computerworld magazine re.:
Bill Gates vs. Department of Justice

one week before anti-trust lawsuits are filed by both the Department of Justice and 20 States
March 7, 2000 special election
Comedy judge elected real Judge;
June 2, 1998 California primary
election returns,
Hot links to Sonoma County
best/worst candidate web sites
Image of the word newUpdated 11/28/00
II. On this web page:
Jim complements your other political consultants
Audio Clips from Jim's Talks

Video Clips from Jim's Talks
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
EXAMPLE: "In recent history, when has humor WON an election?"
Both USA Political Parties Endorse Jim:
Republican: Letter of Reference
Dan Stockemer
Founder of the Sonoma County Pachyderm Club,
boldly states "I wholeheartedly recommend . . ."
Democrat: Letter of "appreciation"
Lynn Woolsey
Jim's Representative from the United States Congress,
writes that she finds Jim "insightful . . . useful"
Program Request Form

Jim Complements Your Other Political Consultants

There are now two camps in our country,
somehow parted these past 56 years,
that voters yearn to see again.

(Ok, Jim is being polite!)
Black and white photo of Jim in same straw hat, white jacket replaced with a black jacket, now holding a microphone with his hand inside a boxing glove, two American flags crossing his chest, his mouth open wide and a wild look in his eye, light from below casts mysterious shadows on his face to add to his caveman-as-politician image
Under the politician's
unperturbable bourgeois veneer
lies the wild animal
that the people
recognize and cherish!

Oh, so by now you've figured out that Jim is deliberately provoking you and
your 11th Century political campaign consultant in that other camp.

OK, these consultants may mentally live in the paranoid realm of the Dark Ages.
But they are still really good about polling, mailing lists and damage control.
So, Jim says, yes: do use them for those things they do well.

Sitting in Jim's camp of the First Order,
the other camp all to often looks like this:
Most political consultants need Jim to supplement their services because they themselves don't know jack about initially creating a client's image for maximum effect--like touching 90% of the audience; nothing about theatrical presentations on the podium or in the media; and they slap together awful brochures, stupid web sites and demeaning TV spots which insult our intelligence--mishandled uses of media which we all unwillingly suffer through come election time--so, you know what Jim is saying.

Worse, they advise clients to never to use HUMOR because "it's dangerous."
Jim agrees: done right, HUMOR can be very dangerous.
For your opponent!

This literary cowardice over the past 56 years has killed the passionate poetry that for two centuries populated the political process to the delight of all Americans everywhere. Unfortunate fact: most political consultants don't get jokes, and don't know how to tell jokes--Jim has witnessed this first hand.

One client had been so mislead by one of these dinosaurs, he asked Jim to keep their consultation a secret.
"What would people think if they knew I was consulting a comedy coach?"

That took Jim off guard at the time; but now Jim answers:
"Your opponents will think so terrified, that they will lose their lunch.
Whenever you confront them in public, they will be shaking in their knees
for fear you will make fun of them, which you will:
unrelentingly tearing down their goofy positions on the issues.
Audiences will love you for it, if you handle it right--which I will train you how to do."

Hey, Jim is frustrated trying to deal with these innocent misconceptions, and wants to "share."


Although Jim has been passionately interested in politics most of his life,
candidates are like stand-up comics and business speakers.
They only contact Jim when they are already in trouble.
By then, it is often too late to acquire the how-to skills necessary to make a difference.

Back to Jim's "Politicians" menu

Audio Clips from Jim's Talks

April 25, 1997, Jim spoke at the Sonoma County Pachyderm Club at Los Robles Lodge in Santa Rosa, California. Although the examples are slanted to the interests of this GOP audience, Jim would say much the same to any political group or club, only the cast of characters used as examples would vary. In other words, all political candidates have the same writing and performing problems to address. Their success or failure to do so determines whether they win or lose their election. This is a new field for Jim, so some notes to supplement each audio clip may help the reader to better follow Jim's argument:

"How Humor WINS Elections"

  1. Audio clip begins in mid-discussion, Jim explaining how he believes an election can be won by addressing the same "invisible" categories by which audiences subconsciously judge comedy competitions. The problem posed is: Bob Dole did not> campaign with any of this in mind.

    A member of the audience asks if Dole should have changed his character to beat Bill Clinton.

    Jim is explaining that it is unnecessary to change your character if you understand how to score points yourself while also taking points away from your opponent.

    Jim suggests it is a mistake to put down the other party, especially if you are the minority party.
    Instead, confine your target area to the candidate.

    Historical use of humor by Republican Presidential candidates:
    Bob Dole in 1996--dumb vs. George Bush in 1988--smart
    (audio 511 K ".wave" file, playing time: 2 minutes, 8 seconds)

    Technical note: you may need to turn the VOLUME down a couple of notches on Netscape or Jim's voice will sound distorted.

  2. Dan Stockemer, founder of the Sonoma County Pachyderm Club and a lay minister, states he is "glad" Jim came to address the group.
    Then, Dan decries the money wasted on political campaigns.
    Dan likes the "positive spin" humor gives the candidate's "personality."

    Another club member thinks the GOP lacks humor, other members side with Jim: it is more image than fact.
    The member starts to challenge Jim as to when a Republican ever won an election using humor.

    This sets Jim into motion, describing how George Bush beat Michael Dukakis, that Bush is still funny.
    EXAMPLE: President Bush today goes over big at Peter Lowe's Success Seminars,
    doing an act/speech unlike anything ever shown on TV;
    i.e., very funny with many standing ovations.
    Blow up of red, white and blue ticket to 1/30/97 Peter Lowe Success Seminar starring President George Bush, $225 price, Jim's ticket tenth row in the orchestra; i.e., great seats
    George Bush: last successful GOP Presidential candidate won with jokes in 1988 and
    now does success talks which are very funny

    (audio 472 K ".wave" file, playing time: 1 minute, 58 seconds)
  3. Jim explains that candidates need more than just a few jokes:
    they need character development, delivery and material which takes time to create.
    Jim interviews the candidate for hours to dig for the gold nuggets everyone has buried inside their life story.

    However, if the candidate can get laughs already, sometimes they are the worse ones to coach
    as they may think they know more about audience reactions than they really do.
    The funny candidate has to take coaching more on faith, and may tend to resist it since they are getting laughs without any help.
    Jim's problem will be to prove to such a person that he can make them undefeatable.

    Jim repeats: the basic misconception is that a few jokes can win an election;
    i.e., innocent candidates try to cut corners,
    and end up walking into a wall they didn't know was there.
    Listen to Coach Jim, or get killed by election day
    (audio 179 K ".wave" file, playing time: 45 seconds)

  4. President of club, Paul Erickson, asks why consultants who charge hundreds of thousands of dollars avoid training candidates in humor.

    Jim figures consultants do not want to frighten candidates,
    that they may even have a witty strategy in mind to win the election.
    But may not chose to admit same to the candidate.
    Why consultants (to date) have avoided training candidates in humor techniques
    (audio 200 K ".wave" file, playing time: 48 seconds)

  5. Paul wonders what humor training has to do with the occasions when you are not confronting your opponent.

    Jim points out that you can defeat yourself,
    even if the opponent is not present.

    Unless you begin preparing months in advance,
    doing your bits 50-100 times in front of audiences
    to get them down cold.
    Just like comics and speakers work their material.

    Politicians are terrible amateur speakers who don't take speaking seriously.
    Jim gives an example of a recent candidate who did not "come to play".
    You have to take the time required to get your speech ready!
    Work your material, or get clocked!
    (audio 192 K ".wave" file, playing time: 59 seconds)

  6. Have a monthly stump night, invite people from other political parties.
    Can't repeat material next month, force candidates to create new material under the same pressures put on stand-up comics at open mike nights or monthly contests.
    Deadlines: reasons to create a body of material long before the election campaign gets underway!
    This was the additional letterhead-in-small-print I suggested the Pachyderm Club add to their monthly FAX-to-members:

    Dorothy Erickson:
    Nice meeting you guys last night.
    You can easily fit all this information onto your masthead every week if you print it in small type.
    Below please find suggested bullets for your FAX logo, as we discussed:

    Sonoma County Pachyderm Club
    "PHUN Politics!"
    • Global Village: satellite dish, Internet, fax--WE are community!
    • This weekly fax: YOUR clearing house for ALL local political events: GOP, Democrat, Reform, Peace & Freedom, Libertarian, Natural Law, etc.
    • Meet us at YOUR monthly "Stump Night": ANYONE can speak for 3 minutes!

    Then, this footer:
    Why not photocopy me and snail-mail, e-mail or fax me to your friends today?

    History of both parties trying to knock off the other one's best speaker, examples:

    • Jim Wright of Texas
    • Newt Gingrich of Georgia.
    Need to budget training: Jim's figures here are conservative--he estimates that campaign treasure chests are $125,000-250,000 for House of Representative races, jobs that pay $130,000/year.
    In fact, candidates in these races locally feel they have to raise


    if they are running against an incumbent "just to be taken seriously!"

    Jim can't believe the parties
    won't set aside a few thousand
    to get their candidates some decent coaching.

    Dan Stockemer, founder of the Sonoma County Pachyderm Club, thinks it would "really be a service to the candidate" to require him to get coached by Jim.

    • Dan advises Jim to present the same pitch he has just given in his speech to the State GOP Chairman, "I think they'd be very receptive."
    • Up until 2/12/98, Jim hadn't watched the video tape (you are listening to highlights of the audio) since last year when he gave this 45 minute talk.
      Jim forgot Dan had said that.
    • Oooops!
    The Pachyderms catch fire, enthusiastic finish to Jim's talk, much discussion
    (audio 447 K ".wave" file, playing time: 1 minute, 52 seconds)

Back to Jim's "Politicians" menu

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: "Jim, why don't you just write me some jokes, and let it go at that?"
A: A few weeks before the Dukakis/Bush debate referred to above, a political wannabe from the Dukakis camp called Jim and asked for a few jokes,
admitting: "The way things are going, we'll try anything."
Jim turned down the gig, advising the inquiring citizen that one joke or even a string of jokes wouldn't help.
Simple: Dukakis hadn't respected the process enough to first learn how to sell said joke/jokes to any audience.

Q: "In recent history, when has humor WON an election?" [Jim answers while continuing his Dukakis rant.]
A: Sure enough, Jim's advice was ignored, Michael Dukakis tried that fool's errand in his 1988 debate with George Bush.

Bush answered Dukakis' one joke with, "Oh, is this where we do our one-liners?"
Bush then told 20 jokes in a row.

When the camera next panned over to Dukakis,
his head was visibly reeling from 20 psychological blows to the head.

Q: So, who is this Jim Richardson to talk to us politicians like this?
A: Glad you asked.
Jim Richardson has been coaching comics since 1977 (over 42 years) and his clients have WON every major comedy contest in the USA, including the Ed McMahon "Star Search"

Jim sees fundamental parallels between:
  1. training stand-up comics to compete for comedy contest prize money and
  2. training politicians to WIN successful campaigns that compete for votes.
(Come on, now: competing for votes has to be a lot easier than competing for money!)

Further, since 1988, Jim has been working with top business keynote speakers, training them to speak at the

World Class Level
Please see:
"What Jim's Students and Clients say"
And in the past few years, Jim has been working very successfully with:
  1. politicians locally, and
  2. long distance, as far away as "down under" in Melbourne, Australia.

Q: What's this going to cost our campaign?
A: Jim believes in treating all citizens alike. After all, this is America.
Jim can work with folks locally and long distance--even internationally via Internet video conferencing, etc.: one-on-one, in small groups or Jim can present to large gatherings.
For one-one-one fees, please refer to:

Jim's One-On-One Private "Coaching and Speech Writing"
Are you raising over 1 million dollars just to be taken seriously,
running against an incumbent?
Take at least $20,000-40,000 of that to hire Jim; it's like
"paying for a landslide"!

Q: So, Jim: what are your politics?
A: Jim has coached both Republicans and Democrats in communications skills. But Jim belongs to his own party-of-one: Jim calls himself a "Radical-Aristocratic-Reactionary." Which means Jim is an "Independent," who votes issue-by-issue.
Disillusioned with both major political parties,

Line drawing of Uncle Sam pointing his right forefinger at us in the traditional I-want-you pose
Uncle Sam still wants you,
if you have integrity.
Jim is looking for candidates with integrity:
  • Who believe they deserve to WIN.
  • Who are willing to take an hour or more/week over the next few months to get the training to WIN.
  • Who during the last week of the campaign, will have enough common sense to keep their head, and accept a Big WIN!

Back to Jim's "Politicians" menu

Dan Stockemer (founder of the Sonoma County Pachyderm Club, candidate for the State legislature in Kansas in 1982, and county chairman for the GOP from 1984-1986) has viewed and approved this web page and his appearance on the audio clips.

Dan has encouraged Jim to do an Internet e-mailing to introduce himself to all the state chairmen of both parties.

Dan has also provided Jim this letter of recommendation:

To whom it may concern--

I wholeheartedly recommend you look into the material that Jim Richardson has produced to help candidates for elective office.

Since politicians are the butt of many jokes anyway, he can show you how to turn this to your own advantage in winning the hearts of the voters you are addressing.

He may be able to do more for your public persona than any other advisor whose services you engage.

As a former county chairman and past candidate, I believe his experience could make the difference between defeat and victory in close elections.

Most importantly, if you do become elected, his coaching may help you stay elected!

Hope this is of some help, Jim. God bless you in your efforts.


Dan Stockemer

What do you know?

Dan's multi-level marketing plan worked: Jim gets a personal letter in answer to his e-mail from his very own Representative in the Congress of the United States:

Lynn Woolsey

For Jim's critique of her and other Sonoma County political candidate web sites, please click here.

Back to Jim's "Politicians" menu

To go back to Jim's first of 2 web pages on politics . . ..
Been there already?
Then, you know the page starts with . . .?
Color photo of Jim.
Wearing a Fourth of July straw hat with patriotic bands of red, white and blue.
Jim is making a circle with his thumb and forefinger as a sign of "congratulations".
Our political campaign has hit it's target, right on the button.
Today, victory is at hand.
Because of Jim's innovative methods.
By July, we're unbeatable on the first Tuesday in November!
Ok, to go to that page, please click here now:Image of arrow pointing off the page to the right where we imagine, accurately, that the next page is lurking

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Copyright © 1997-2019

Today's date and Pacific Standard Time is: Friday, 24-Jun-2022 21:01:41 PDT

Date this 1997 page was last modified, Pacific Standard Time: Friday, 26-Apr-2019 20:18:20 PDT