Ackerman has become the go-to congressman for network and cable news shows looking for someone who can be angry and funny about high-flying executives and inept regulators as the economy collapses.
Over the years, Ackerman has cultivated a flamboyant image, with the fresh carnation in his lapel and a quirky, but often direct, sense of humor.
He asked for a urine sample from an official who argued at a hearing in favor of worker drug testing. He also held up red- white-and-blue socks in a debate on a flag-protection amendment.
"I've been doing it all my life," he said. As a kid in his family, "I was the funny guy."
"It's just me," he said. "Sometimes, I say the funniest things when no one is around. I think something funny, and I start laughing."
Wow, Gary the funny man! Newspaper stories about Queens pols are usually about what great people they are and not about their accomplishments or legislation they've authored.