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Clowns Turned Politicians

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JACOB HAUGAARD, a TV comedian, was elected to Denmark’s parliament in 1994 promising better weather, shorter lines in stores and Nutella added to military rations–which it was.

BEPPE GRILLO founded the Five Star Movement, which became Italy’s second biggest party in 2013. Still feisty, the comedian was sentenced to jail in September for slandering a professor.

JON GNARR was elected mayor of Reykjavík, Iceland, in 2010 after launching a political party as a joke on his TV show. Among his campaign pledges was free towels at all public swimming pools.

AL FRANKEN was a familiar face on Saturday Night Live from 1975 to 1995. But since being elected as a Democratic Senator from Minnesota in 2009, he has taken pains to avoid being funny.

BHAGWANT MANN, a famed anti-Establishment comedian, was elected to India’s Parliament in 2014 after parodying future Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the campaign trail.

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Write to Naina Bajekal at naina.bajekal@time.com