In its 14th year, the L.A. Political Roast went meta. Each year, City Hall lobbyists and politicians consort over dinner and drinks while a political figure is ritually humiliated.
Last night, the victim was Councilman Dennis Zine, and the central joke of the evening was that he literally consorts with lobbyists. So the jokes took on a self-referential character.
"For dating a lobbyist, and voting for all of our projects, we thank you," said Arnie Berghoff, the lobbyist who co-founded the event. "We really thank you."
Actor Jason Alexander led things off with a joke about how people don't know whether Zine is Jewish or Muslim. "He's actually an overweight Lebanese guy who would do anything for anyone, especially a lobbyist with great cans."
He followed up with: "Who do I have to blow to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Is it Garcetti? I'll blow Garcetti."
After dinner, Zine was seated on a throne and surrounded by belly dancers, each of whom had the word "lobbyist" on her bikini bottom. "You're welcome at City Hall anytime," Zine cooed.
Councilman Eric Garcetti did a piano medley, which included "Sweet Dennis Zine," set to the tune of "Sweet Caroline."
"All of those gals
Lobbyists that you're dating
Keeping them straight is quite a chore
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"But don't fret
There's no conflict of interest
If you don't know what you're voting for."
(For the record, it was an airport contract. He seemed quite familiar with it, and would have voted on it if not for the publicity.)
Councilman Herb Wesson made some jokes about venereal diseases, then said that he and Garcetti had done a poll at City Hall, asking 100 people if they would have sex with Zine.
"Ninety said never again," Wesson said. "The 10% who said yes were all lobbyists."