Gov. Rick Scott yukked it up last night for the first time at the Capitol Press Corps Skits, the “sometimes” annual roasting of all things Tallahassee.
A no-show his first two years, Scott and several of his aides walked in late as show emcee and AP writer Gary Fineout had already taken the stage and was unloading the first of the evening’s many jokes at Scott’s expense.
Fineout was explaining how he recently got elected president of the press association and had “advice” for Scott.
“You can get elected to something without spending $73 million (sic) of your own money,” Fineout said as Scott sat down at a table directly in front of the stage.
Scott seemed to enjoy himself, and stood up in mock applause after a couple of jokes. More than 1,000 of the town’s political class attended the 58th annual skits to raise money for the Barbara Frye Scholarship Fund for journalism students.
Always a ribald affair, this year’s skits were where memes went to die. Both “Call Me Maybe” and “The Harlem Shake” were go-to gags for members of the press and the Florida House. Videos showed the acting chops of Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz.
Lampooned on stage were a Twitter-obsessed Attorney General Pam Bondi, Lieutenant Gov. Jennifer Carroll, desperate to stay on the ticket, belting out Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”, and, of course, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, dousing himself in water.
But Scott got most of the ribbing. In one skit, Troy Kinsey showed off again, playing a poll-driven Scott morphing into former Gov. Charlie Crist. Birthday boy Steve Bousquet did his uncanny Johnny Cash impersonation, singing, to the the tune of “Ring of Fire”: “Gov. Scott really should retire. The Tea Party says he’s going to get fired. And Charlie Crist rehired.”
News did break during the skits. In a video short, Republican bad boy and former Scott spokesman Brian Burgess (now a consultant with Meteoric Media Strategies) revealed what happened to Reagan the dog. It involves a shovel.