Now Playing

Ed Lee's Daddest Dad Jokes

Not so much funny haha as funny hmmmm.

Ed Lee, killing 'em out there. 


The late Mayor Ed Lee is lying in state today at City Hall, and a public memorial for him is scheduled for Sunday. But amongst all of the appropriately solemn remembrances, some levity is required. And Lee knew how to do levity. Politics aside, the comedic legacy of former San Francisco mayor Lee, who died early Tuesday morning, is indisputable. From the cringy campaign video remix of MC Hammer’s 2 Legit 2 Quit accompanying his 2011 campaign, right until the end, Ed Lee dad-joked his way through public life. Here, for your awkward enjoyment, a few of low-key Ed's most light-chuckle-worthy quips.

"I'm announcing my candidacy—for being the lead of the pothole crew,” before announcing his mayoral bid in 2011.

“You know, the only thing I say is, given my height, I’m always on some short list.” on rumors Hillary Clinton had considered him for a cabinet post.

“While in the womb.” —on the age he grew his first moustache.

“I had two jokes then. I was either Bruce Lee’s brother, or a descendent of Robert E. Lee. Whenever I got really patriotic I would say, ‘You know Robert E. Lee? That’s how I got into college.’” —remembering being only one of five Chinese Americans in college.

“The last political office I ran for was high school president. My slogan was, ‘Ed-win, not Lose.’ So corny. But I won.” —during his first run for mayor.

"I think a flagrant foul is any further delay in opening the Chase Center." —speaking to the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Warriors stadium, in reference to Draymond Green fouling LeBron James.

At least David Chiu “won’t have to participate in The Vagina Dialogues anymore.” misremembering the title of the Vagina Monologues, at David Chiu’s wedding reception.

“People go to Disneyland for measles, but come to San Francisco for crabs.” on the 2015 measles outbreak in SoCal.

“I’m going to give the first fun assignment to Chief Suhr, and that is that he will investigate the whereabouts of my birth certificate.” during former Police Chief Greg Suhr’s swearing-in ceremony.

“I have a few questions today to ask– Is MadBum a man or a machine? Second question, When is Bochy going to be eligible for the Hall of Fame? Final question, as mayor, is there anything I can do to keep Panda in San Francisco?” at the 2014 Giants World Series Championship Celebration.

“Tension? What tension? The only tension I know is the Giants and the Dodgers.” deflecting speculation about conflict over real estate development.

“Thank you for putting up with me, the long hours, and, well, pretending to laugh at my jokes all these years.” —addressing his wife and daughters at his 2012 inauguration.


Have feedback? Email us at
Email Kelsey Lannin at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Kelsey Lannin on Twitter @KelseyLannin