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The Other Side is the official podcast of a great comedy club, the DC Improv.

Jun 6, 2016

Franklin Pierce loved to party! But he married a woman who hated to party. And he was really charismatic! But he's usually remembered as a failed president.

In other words, Pierce was complicated. We're gonna need a top-notch expert to figure out if he was funny, and that's where Peter A. Wallner comes in. His two-volume biography of "Handsome Frank" is probably the most thoroughly researched work on Pierce in 75 years. We talk about the qualities that made Pierce so charming, whether Pierce had a drinking problem, and how Pierce kept his spirits up while enduring personal tragedies. (Such as, witnessing the decapitation of his son. Yikes.)

And stick around until the end for what might be the most juvenile bit of humor in this whole series.

Peter A. Wallner's website

Franklin Pierce homestead

MUSIC: Hail Columbia, "Drink to Me Only With Thine Own Eyes" by John Kirby and His Orchestra