Kevin Cullen

Stand-up comic is a Labor Day stand-in

Back in the day, I loved to watch Reverend Ike, the televangelist who preached the Gospel of Prosperity. He got all these old ladies and shut-ins to send him money.

Reverend Ike lived like a king and wasn’t big on sharing his fortune.

“The best thing you can do for poor people,” he’d say, “is not be one of them.”


I feel the same way about Labor Day. The best way to honor the working man is not be one of them. So I didn’t work on Labor Day and gave the column to my pal Paul Elwell.

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Paul started out as a stand-up comedian, but it’s a tough way to make a living and raise a family, so he became a sheet metal worker. Now he’s back doing stand-up. So the rest of this is Paul, a working man on and off stage, telling jokes.

A good way to go back to work, to school, to the routine, after a great summer.

* * *

When I was young, Labor Day resonated deeply with me because I had a girlfriend from Dorchester who was the youngest of 17. Her mother spent so much time in labor they gave her a pension.


I worry about jobs. We need to address the chaos on our southern border. We are being overrun by unskilled, uneducated people who don’t speak our language. I say we round them up and send them back to Rhode Island. It’s not like Buddy Cianci can’t use the votes.

Mayor Walsh wants to have an Indy-car race in Boston. As if we don’t have enough people driving around at high speeds not using their directional signals.

If your weight has a comma, you’ve got a problem.

You have to take a test to work for the post office. How hard could it be? “This letter says 123 Main St. Where ya gonna take it?”

A lot of people don’t like people on welfare buying lottery tickets. I love it. If they lose, the state gets the money. If they win, they’re off welfare.


I was a victim of identity theft but it all worked out. The collection agencies call that guy now.

My brother has a drinking problem. He insists that a keg is technically one beer. He showed up at our Labor Day cookout, parked a Budweiser panel truck on Gallivan Boulevard, and told us it was a 30-pack.

Why are people so upset about Obama playing golf? He does a lot less damage on the golf course than in the Oval Office.

When I do stand-up in Cambridge, I consider it an away game.

I went ice fishing for the first time last winter. I must have cast that line 30 or 40 times before I hit the hole.

The airlines are charging for everything now. After one of them returned my lost luggage they charged me a finder’s fee.

One time I tried to donate some old clothes to a shelter, but they told me none of my stuff would fit the dogs.

Is being a meteorologist considered a temp job?

Apple wants to give their customers a more familiar experience so the new iPhone will come with headphones that are pretangled.

I was helping my son with his homework when he asked if I knew how to complete a sentence. I told him to try to get off on good behavior.

The hardest part of raising a child with OCD is that he tells me he has it 300 times a day.

If I didn’t have three girlfriends and a drinking problem, my marriage would be a mess. 

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeCullen.