Usually, the audiences at the Improv are laughing at the politicians, but at the Candidates’ Comedy Night, the audience was laughing with them.
The fundraiser for the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund had politicians reaching across the aisles so that the constituents could roll in them.
State Sen. Jay Costa Jr., state Treasurer Robert McCord, Washington County commissioners Diana Irey Vaughan and Larry Maggi, Congressman Tim Murphy, state Senate candidate D. Raja, state Rep. Matt Smith, Congressional candidate Dr. Hans Lessmann, Congressman Mike Doyle, Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Kane, U.S. Senator Bob Casey and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald took to the Waterfront stage at the Improv, telling jokes, performing skits and even singing for charity.
Irey Vaughan told personal stories about her trials and tribulations as a woman in politics. The petite commissioner, who is the Republican candidate for state treasurer, said, “The first story I read in the Observer-Reporter mentioned my weight (99 pounds) and my height (5 feet, 5 inches). You know no story about a male politician started with his height and weight.”
Irey Vaughan returned to the stage with Maggi, Democratic candidate for the 18th Congressional District seat, and the two did a little skit that poked fun at both political parties.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy strapped on a guitar and crooned a comedic song to the audience, but it was U.S. Representative Mike Doyle who killed (comedic vernacular for performing exceptionally). His impression of Mitt and Anne Romney’s horse, Rafalca, performing in the Dressage event at the Olympics had the audience rolling with laughter.
The Republicans and Democrats both commended the Department of
Human Services event chair, Marc Cherna, for creating the special evening.
Political hopeful Raja, said, “Marc does a really great job putting this together.”
Fitzgerald, Raja’s former rival for the county executive post, also praised Cherna. “It’s a fantastic event.”
Fitzgerald added, “I was here last year as a hopeful, and it’s my first year here as the county executive. I have a couple of zingers ready.”
Emcee Gene Collier, a sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, took humorous jabs at everyone, especially himself. Unlike the candidates, Collier peppered his comments with salty language. His jokes also garnered the biggest laughs.
Between performers, several gift baskets were awarded to lucky raffle ticket holders. The gift baskets held various packages for local arts, restaurants and sporting events. The “Sizzlin’ Nights” basket had overnight accommodations and breakfast for two at the Omni William Penn Hotel, a gift certificate to the Dean of Shadyside Salon, four hours of car service from Quality Limousine, tickets to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, gift certificates to the Melting Pot, massages and more.
Cherna said, “Since its inception, the fund has provided more than 2,300 children with meaningful times or opportunities that cannot be provided through traditional government funding.”
For more information on the Allegheny County Music Festival Fund, visit www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/acmff.aspx.