In serving so many years in elected office, he was never at a loss for words, and in the many years afterward as a private citizen, he was never out of the limelight, regularly appearing on television and radio and in newspaper columns, usually with something provocative and funny to say.
When Koch was approached in 2010 by Sam Hoffman, creator of Old Jews Telling Jokes, to join the other old-timers in cracking a joke for the web site, he responded that he doesn't tell jokes, only anecdotes.
OK, so let it be an anecdote. Whatever you call it, when he tells it, it's still funny.
After serving for nine years in Congress representing New York City's 17th and 18th congressional districts, Ed Koch ran in the 1977 Democratic primary of the mayoral election against incumbent Abe Beame, Bella Abzug and Mario Cuomo. Koch ran to the right of the other candidates, on a "law and order" platform.
When he was looking for voter support in the 1977 election, he made a campaign stop to address a group of 200 Jewish senior citizens in the Bronx. He arrived late, about 10 pm, and some of the attendees were worried about how they were going to get home so late without being mugged. And then he said...