Local Politicians Do Standup Comedy, Things Get Weird | Buzz Blog

Friday, May 2, 2014

Local Politicians Do Standup Comedy, Things Get Weird

Posted By on May 2, 2014, 12:00 PM

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It was a star-studded night as politicos like Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper and House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo joined with the Eagle Forum's Gayle Ruzicka to do stand up comedy at a fundraiser gala for Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. It was two hours of awkward comedic jabs and bizarre performances. Of the two hours here's a rundown on the nine minutes or so of funny.---

Where to begin? Perhaps the greatest laugh to be had from a political perspective was from McAdams himself for not only being able to get so many Republicans to attend his fundraiser that packed the Rail Event Center at 235 N. 500 West in Salt Lake City, but for also getting some key Republican headliners on the event, which was the second “United We Stand (Up!)” fundraiser he's thrown so far for his election efforts.

As for the stand-up comedy itself, I'm still not sure there's enough whiskey for me to erase the things I saw.

Did that happen? Was it real?

There were little moments from the night that felt like I was watching some fevered dream sequence from an episode of Twin Peaks—Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City spanking himself on stage, Gayle Ruzicka accepting a copy of Pat Bagley's The Mormon Kama Sutra from her doppleganger Sister Dottie S. Dixon. Other people saw these things too right?

Hopefully writing about these things will provide catharsis because its too early to start drinking again.

OK so its unfair to say that there were only nine minutes of funny since the event did feature actual comedians from Wise Guys Comedy who did sets in between those done by local politicians and were very funny. Also to be fair the featured acts did have some solid lines.

Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper was the first legislator to take the stage and set the right edgy tone dressed like UFC commentator Joe Rogan with his backwards black baseball cap, jeans and Pittsburgh Penguins jersey and sporting his “homeless facial hair” (his joke not mine).

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Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, keeping it real

Hughes got a lot of mileage out of pointing out how the media loves to take statesman-like photos of McAdams while every photo involving Hughes makes him out to look crazy, or troll-like. “Look at that,” Hughes said pointing to a picture of him with McAdams “I look like a troll! I look like I live under a bridge and charge people to cross.”

House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo performed a good set filled with jokes about running against Herbert for Governor in 2016. Lockhart mentioned how McAdams asked her if she needed a teleprompter and she responded that teleprompters were for Governors. “Talk to me about that in 2016,” Lockhart said.

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Rep. Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, be-boppin and scattin' all over the Governor

She also roasted Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox nicely, after explaining he had one of the hardest jobs in government--"Convincing people he is actually the Lieutenant Governor and not the Lieutenant Governor's prematurely balding High School intern.”

She also took the opportunity for a well executed non-defense of her soon to be campaign opponent Governor Gary Herbert.

“If you think I'm going to stand up here in front o room full of influential leaders and take pot shots at a Republican Governor who is really more of a RINO and wants to expand socialized government, hates the second amendment and is in favor of crony capitalism—then you are sadly mistaken,” Lockhart said. “This is Utah and we are more civil than that.”

After Lockhart there was a special roast of Dabakis in celebration of his stepping down as the State Democratic Party Chair that included a lightning round of short roasts by various politicos from the Legislature, the Salt Lake County Council and elsewhere.

These ran the gamut of witty to wince-worthy.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder pretty much owned this section of the evening talking about keeping an eye on Hughes because of his hoodlum attire. The other highlight came from Tom Love, CEO of the ad firm Love Communications riffing on Dabakis as the “openly-gay senator” by shouting with gusto about himself being “openly-straight.”

“I love boobs!” Love shouted. “I love boobs so much I grew a pair!”

Which I guess if you weren't there and haven't seen Love, was a man-boobs reference.

Things really started to devolve into sheer madness after this point. Dabakis, who was recently married when a federal ruling temporarily lifted the state's ban on same-sex marriage did a quick dance routine to Beyonce's “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).”

Sorry about the blurriness of the photos but Dabakis was just jamming out too fast for my phone to get a better pic.

But here's a run down on some of the moves from his routine that will haunt me to my dying day.

The Ring Point

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The Spank

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Starting the Lawnmower I guess...

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The Locomotion?

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Chug-a-chug-a-Dear-God-Stop-This-Train!

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This display was topped off by the surprise finale bit by the Eagle Forum's own Gayle Ruzicka who in her grandmotherly way threw a few loving zingers Dabakis' way.

“He has such enthusiasm for his liberal causes, he inspires people to get involved, to call their legislators and stand up for what they believe in—it's about time someone set a fire under those Republicans,” Ruzicka said. “In fact my phone tree right now is so large it makes my genealogy tree look like a banzai tree.”

There was also a tender moment in the night where Ruzicka thanked Dabakis for being a friend who always treated her and her beliefs with respect and the two hugged on stage--adding an "aww shucks" moment to complement the many "what the hell?" moments of the evening.

Charles Frost the actor who plays the exuberant the Utah County Mormon Mommy persona of Sister Dottie S. Dixon then took the stage with Ruzicka, for some standup. Which to be fair was mostly Ruzicka smiling politely while Dixon made jokes about the women being sorority sisters at BYU. Dixon then handed Ruzicka various liberal paraphernalia like the The Mormon Kama Sutra and a “Hillary 2016” bumper sticker while Ruzicka considered in the back of her mind how the gifts would burn up nicely in her fireplace.

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Gayle Ruzicka and Sister Dottie S. Dixon. Try and guess which one's which

Then it ended, the show was over, and no one who left the event would ever be the same again. As scarring as it was, I hope I get invited back next year.

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