Comedian-candidate Pat Paulsen kicked off his 1988 presidential campaign - his sixth - by dropping a political bombshell: he's becoming a Republican.

"I'm going to New Orleans - I have to, because the Democrats tossed me right out of Atlanta," Paulsen said this week after declaring his candidacy. "They're not very friendly people."

Paulsen, who made his first run for the White House 20 years ago, announced his election bid on a boat in New York Harbor with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

The former regular on the "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" didn't have too much good to say about his opponents, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and Vice President George Bush.

"I call 'em Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber - you decide who goes first," Paulsen said. "But hey, I give 'em both credit - I mean, to get this far without getting caught is pretty good."