Well, the presidential campaign season is finally over, and now it's that time of the year when we have our very special feature — the NJ Politics Unusual mailbag. This is where we get to answer questions generated from our scores and scores of regular readers, passionate fans, soulful admirers, aficionados, devotees, follower, groupies, detractors, critics, and anonymous stalkers. We get so many emails, IMs, text messages, and posts it's hard to keep up. But, we do the best we can to respond to the minions of loyal readers of every shape and size — whether they are real or imaginary or praising or attacking. Either way, it's nice to know they find the readings interesting enough to surf to at their computer desk.
So here goes.
Some of the posts say you're an attorney? Is that true? If so, I have a legal question for you regarding an email I received with a business offer from the Minister of Banking in Nigeria. It sounds like a pretty good deal, but I need some deft legal advice.
Brian P. Manalapan
Thanks for writing, and yes, you betcha, I am an attorney. After many years as a comedian, I decided to go to law school at night. I graduated Seton Hall School of Law, the best darn law school in New Jersey! And passed the N.J. bar exam on the first try. Boy was that sucker one tough exam!
Anyway, if you have a chance to pick up some quick cash from the fine folks at the Ministry of Banking in Nigeria, go right ahead. I, myself, have been waiting for my check since June. Seems like a good investment in these tough economic times.
I am a Republican, and read your column each and every week. You seem to always poke fun at Republicans in your columns, and never Democrats. What the heck is that? Shouldn't you be fairer in your comedy? Isn't there some Fairness Doctrine you're supposed to follow?
Steve L. Bogata
Nah, not really. The Fairness Doctrine would not apply to blogs anyhow, I think. TV and radio only. Something about the people's airwaves and the FCC. But, I am planning to re-tool for 2009 with more funny stuff on Democrats. Yup, right after the election, I am going to start poking fun at Democrats, too. You can bet on it.
Dear Mr. Novick,
Are you really a comedian? Sometimes you're funny, and sometimes I just don't get the jokes. Like when you wrote the one about the news report about the Obama Campaign and trademark infringement. Why was funny? Was it true?
Nope, the Obama Campaign and trademark infringement piece was not true. Well, they say if you have to explain a joke, it's just not funny. But I will try anyway. You see, "Yes We Can" refers the campaign slogan of Barack Obama, where "can" is used as a verb. Now, in the article, the word ‘can' was also a verb, — as in "we can peaches," or "canned tomatoes." Get it? Funny, huh? Does that make it clearer for you? I sure hope so! Glad you're reading each week.
I like that you take out time to write and answer questions of your readers. But, what I would like to know is, are these letters real? And are the fans that write them real? Or is this just another ‘bit'?
Great question — for someone who does not really exist. And let me answer in two parts. First off, yes, I am fairly sure that there is definitely a "Sarah from Wasilla AK" and a "Brian from Manalapan". And maybe there is even a "Malcolm T. from Eatontown." However, I am not certain if they ever read this column. Secondly, all the questions are real, as I wrote them for this ‘bit' myself. Hope that answers your question, and thanks for taking the time from your imaginary schedule.
Well, that's all for this month folks. Tune in next month for some more mail from our real and imaginary readers. You never know who's gonna write!
Joey Novick is an attorney, professional stand-up comedian, professional keynote speaker, and a former 12 year Councilman in Flemington, NJ. From 1996-2000, he served as the County Chair of the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee. As a stand-up comedian and improv actor, Joey has appeared on MTV, Comedy Central, Rascal's Comedy Hour and One Life to Live, and most recently, with "Laughing Liberally". He has opened in concert and at comedy club dates for such comedy notables as Jerry Seinfeld, Robert Klein, Lewis Black, Rosie O'Donnell and Ray Romano. He is currently developing a one-man show about life, laughter and local government in the Garden State, tentatively entitled, "Trentoon".
His blog, NJPoliticsUnusual.com, has been informing NJ's political insiders for almost "two-thirds of a fiftieth of a century," and has recognized by Campaigns & Elections and SNJ Business People. The New York Times, AP Newswire, Washington Post, Newark Star-Ledger, ABC News and National Public Radio have all been kind enough to mention his work in comedy and politics every now and then. Joey appears monthly on News-12's "Power & Politics", sharing his keen insights on NJ's elected officials, and has chaired a panel on political humor for the New Jersey State League of Municipalities every year since 1995. He has taken his political humor on the road across the nation, appearing at state municipal league conferences in New York, Maine, Connecticut, Nevada, West Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Kentucky and Rhode Island; as well as at the National League of Cities Conference. His mother, Pearl, lives in Florida, plays canasta almost every day, and is very glad Joey visits her on a regular basis.