From the moment Assemblyman Tom Ammiano asked if anyone had an "objection to the f-bomb," it was clear that the tone of last night's roast of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez would be more appropriate for "The Hangover" than the Assembly floor.
The San Francisco Democrat and stand-up comedian and his fellow roasters, emcee Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Democratic Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, GOP Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and former GOP Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, didn't hold back when it came to cracking jokes at the expense of the Los Angeles Democrat. Or one another... or their current and former colleagues under the dome.
The smutty stand-up routines weren't the only entertainment on tap at The California Center for Civic Participation's annual event to benefit programs to engage youth in policy-making and political issues.
Former Assembly Speakers Herb Wesson, Karen Bass and Antonio Villaraigosa, cousin to the current speaker, starred in a spoof of the "It Get Better" video series, highlighting the benefits of life after giving up the speaker's gavel. And a trio of costumed assemblymembers -- Democrats Isadore Hall, Fiona Ma and Nancy Skinner -- performed a tone-deaf but spirited rendition of "Johnny's Got a Gun," a riff on recent coverage of the gun policies in the Assembly and the speaker's own firearm ownership.
Many of the swipes at Pérez were R- (and even XXX-) rated, with the bulk of the raunchy jokes hitting the Los Angeles Democrat's weight, race and sexual orientation. But we've collected a handful of the, well, printable lines that drew laughs from the crowd of more than 600 attendees below.
"Did you know that John Pérez actually tried out for The Biggest Loser TV show? Not surprisingly it didn't go well. He kept letting the team with the purple shirts win," Strickland on Pérez, referring to the purple-shirted SEIU protestors who frequent the Capitol.
"You know why he supported the Dream Act? Because he once had a dream he graduated from Berkeley," Blumenfield on recent media scrutiny over false statements that Pérez graduated from college.
"John is a godfather to many of us. A fairy godfather," Ammiano on Pérez.
"Connie trying to convince us that she's blonde is like Tim Donnelly trying to convince us he's going to have a second term," Smyth on Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway and freshman GOP Assemblyman Tim Donnelley.
"Darrell is leading the anti-circumcision movement in San Francisco. It's linked to the all-cuts budget," Ammiano on Steinberg.
"Seriously John, if you vote for that tax on sugary goods, it would be just like Charlie Sheen voting on a tax on porn and meth," Strickland on Pérez.
"Working with Tom on legislation is always fun. It's gay rights, it's marijuana. This man is a walking Mardi Gras," Steinberg on Ammiano.
"Until the Chilean miners, Darrell was top runner for biggest caveman of 2010," Pérez on Steinberg's negotiating skills.
"I'm surprised we have Cameron's attention. It's usually in the mirror," Ammiano on Smyth.
"There's a list of press in Washington D.C., and Jim Sanders' name isn't on it," Democratic Rep. Karen Bass referring to The Bee's Jim Sanders, who covers the Assembly, in the "It Gets Better" spoof.
"In his first race he ran against the original Tea Party.... No one's asking to see this governor's birth certificate because they're worried it would crumble if it was exposed to air," Blumenfield on Gov. Jerry Brown's senior status.
"Everybody wants to know if Arnold used state money for his tryst. I don't know. But I can think of some government funds he should have tapped into: Planned Parenthood," Steinberg on former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent scandal.
"I was going through the Capitol this morning and chatting with a visitor and he said, 'You know, I always feel like we're getting screwed by legislators who don't know what they're doing.' And I was like, 'Tell me about it, it happens to me every night,'" Strickland, who is married to GOP Sen. Tony Strickland.