Jimmy Tingle
Comedian Jimmy Tingle giving the Harvard University Graduate English address in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Comedian Jimmy Tingle has a new American dream, and it’s no joke: He’s running for Massachusetts lieutenant governor.

The comedian and actor, who has appeared in “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream,” “Boondock Saints” and more, recently wrote on his Facebook that he has filed papers to run for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, a position currently held by Karyn Polito.

“Not a joke!” his Facebook post read. “I would love to get your help and support. What do you think?”

Tingle, a Cambridge native and current resident, filed the paperwork Friday with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, running as a Democrat.


The move isn’t completely out of left field – Tingle holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and he’s certainly not the first comedian to transition into politics. Al Franken, who performed on and wrote for "Saturday Night Live," was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 and has written multiple books on politics, including his most recent, “Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.”

Joyce Linehan, a top aide to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, even drew a connection between the two.

“If you like Al Franken, you might try Jimmy Tingle!” she wrote on Twitter after hearing about the Cambridge comedian’s announcement.

He's received other words of support, as well. "Let sanity and humor prevail," one fan wrote on Twitter, responding to Tingle's tweet about the run. "You have my vote."

At a recent comedy show, Tingle read a piece thanking "the undocumented immigrants among us," which he later also posted to Facebook. In it, he apologized to undocumented immigrants for those that take advantage of them as workers and added that, "We hope you’re not feeling too insecure in today’s political climate."

The lieutenant governor is usually elected as part of a joint ticket with the governor to ensure that they’re with the same political party. Polito and Gov. Charlie Baker are both Republicans.

The lieutenant governor position is a four-year term, as is the governor's, and the role serves in the governor’s place when they are out of state.

The 2018 Massachusetts gubernatorial election is on Nov. 6, 2018. Baker and Polito have yet to officially announce their intent to run for a second term, but they are expected to launch re-election campaigns this fall.