Brazil Elects Non-Metaphorical Clown to Congress

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What do you do if you're a 45-year-old clown and TV comedian who likes to wear garish outfits and blond wigs? If you're Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva, better known to fans as Tiririca ("Grumpy"), you run for congress in your home country of Brazil. And you win. By a lot, actually.

In this week's elections, Tiririca won a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Brazil's National Congress. His victory was by no means guaranteed; at one point, his campaign was threatened by accusations of illiteracy, but a court threw out those complaints after Tiririca passed a formal literacy test.

He went on to get more than twice as many votes as the second most popular candidate--a landslide that might be attributable to Tiririca's catchy campaign jingles, or to the unusual candor he's displayed in the race. His ads feature the tagline "It can't get any worse," and in one of the TV spots below, he admits, "What does a federal representative do? I'm not sure, but if I'm elected, I'll tell you." Now, he'll have the rest of his four-year term to figure it out.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.