Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
June 30, 2015

Posts in "Laff Riot"

June 18, 2015

Overheard: House Email Crash = Liquid Lunch

“Email down? I’m off to Bullfeathers.”

— Presumed congressional aide (a Cloakroom app user, anyway) takes House server hiccup in stride. Full story

June 16, 2015

Roll Call Has Always Made Room for Fun Stuff

HOH25-Icon.jpg

The original HOH logo. (CQ Roll Call Archives)

The history books show that the Heard on the Hill column we all know (and love?) officially came into existence on Jan. 17, 1988.

But thumbing through 60-some years of Roll Call’s brand of reporting illustrates that founder Sid Yudain always appreciated the quirky side of Hill life. Full story

May 22, 2015

Jimmy Kimmel Pokes Fun at Capitol Police ‘Potty Training’

The SNAFU over their lost guns has launched Capitol Police into the ultimate pop-culture orbit: Being the butt of a late-night TV joke. After Chief Kim C. Dine told Congress officers would now undergo special training on weapons handling, Jimmy Kimmel panned the department’s “potty training” with a mock instructional video, “So You Want to Use the Bathroom While Carrying a Firearm.” Full story

May 15, 2015

Schumer Family Ties Blanket the Airwaves

Turns out Sen. Charles E. Schumer can score airtime without even having to beeline for the next available live shot.

The New York Democrat has popped up on the boob tube twice over the past week — not because of his party’s break with the White House over trade promotion authority, but as a consequence of folks attempting to get deep with his cousin, comedian Amy Schumer. Full story

May 7, 2015

The Onion Elevates Axl Rose to Political Powerhouse

The Onion has uncovered the real reason our political system has devolved into such a dumpster fire: heavy metal.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

In its latest deep-dive into electoral issues, the satirical news site attempts to peel back the curtain on shadowy Super PACs and makes some alarming discoveries. Full story

April 27, 2015

Doug Hecox Lives to Lampoon Politicians

(Courtesy Traci Medlock)

(Courtesy Traci Medlock)

Perhaps the most important thing recovering Hill staffer Doug Hecox took away from his time in the legislative branch was an abiding appreciation for intentionally funny stuff.

“It’s a sitcom with very bad actors. And a really bad script,” the veteran stand-up told HOH about the sorry state of congressional affairs.“Everybody takes themselves entirely too seriously.” Full story

April 14, 2015

Lawmaker’s One Elevator Rule: Pee Before You Get On

Connolly, joking here with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday, is quick with a quip. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was a typical scene at the Capitol Tuesday. The House had just finished its afternoon series of votes, the chamber was emptying and members were scrambling to get back to whatever it is members scramble back to their offices to do.

Full story

April 13, 2015

Exit Interview: Scott Overland Cherishes Congressional Cutups

Leaving the friends he made and inspirational figures he encountered while working on Capitol Hill is no easy task for former staffer Scott Overland.

But he’s made his peace with moving on (Best of luck leading the pack as PetSmart’s man for legislative affairs!) by clinging to the joie de vivre inculcated in him by quick-witted pols.

The communications pro flexed his messaging muscles in both chambers, working first for former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., and most recently for Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.

Each man, he suggested, knew how to keep things pretty lively. Full story

February 10, 2015

Live, From New York — It’s Al Franken!

It’s been decades since he stood on the fabled stage that so many comedy greats have called home. But come Sunday, Sen. Al Franken plans to be back in Studio 8H to help commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live.”

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

The Minnesota Democrat, who spent a combined 15 seasons writing for and performing on the sketch comedy juggernaut, told HOH he expects to make the trek to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to watch the live, three-hour reunion show (scheduled to air on Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.). “The whole experience was wonderful,” Franken said when pressed about the most memorable moments from over a decade spent with the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players.” Full story

February 6, 2015

Cory Gardner, Charlie Rangel School #ThisTown in Skewering Solons

The hundreds of lawmakers, media professionals, staffers and armchair pundits who piled into the Mandarin Oriental ballroom for the Washington Press Club Foundation’s yearly gala Wednesday were treated to a double dose of comedy from a pair of quick-witted pols.

Colorado Republican Cory Gardner and New York Democrat Charles B. Rangel took turns letting each other, their colleagues and everyone else in the room for the 71st Annual Congressional Dinner have it, peppering their tongue-in-cheek remarks with topical barbs.

MSNBC personality Alex Wagner (check out her routine from 27:45-35:01) led the assault by comparing Capitol Hill decorating schemes to hit TV shows. Full story

February 5, 2015

Al Franken: Still a Jokester

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Democrat Al Franken reminded his fellow senators of his comedic roots on Thursday, taking a pointed jab at the Judiciary Committee’s new GOP majority.

The “Saturday Night Live” alum, who joined the Senate in 2009, called Republicans chronically lazy for skipping the panel’s routine markup sessions, now and in the last Congress. Full story

January 23, 2015

Exit Interview: Matthew Leffingwell Treasures Congressional Raconteurs

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: longtime House staffer calls it quits, moves on to sweet gig in the nonprofit world. Same old story, right?

What’s different about Matthew Leffingwell’s swan song is that even though he’s joining a global powerhouse co-founded by musical royalty, the Capitol Hill vet insists he will genuinely miss hearing solons crack wise about, well, everything. Full story

December 22, 2014

Grover Norquist Will Miss Tussling With Stephen Colbert

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist fears no one in Washington. But it took him a while to figure out how to successfully mix things up with faux-conservative interviewer Stephen Colbert.

Norquist, who is no stranger to verbally jousting with opponents on the Sunday news shows — “You get it. They have liberal assumptions tucked inside a question … you deal with it,” he said of the standard us vs. them rhetorical smack down — told HOH he held The Colbert Report producers at bay about appearing on the show for over a year because he had some trouble wrapping his head around how to engage with Colbert’s TV persona.

Full story

November 3, 2014

Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Election night 2014 is looking like it’ll be a nail-biter.

With so many variables in play — Will the Affordable Care Act ultimately prove detrimental to Democrats’ professional health? Who will independent candidates caucus with on Capitol Hill? How long (and how many runoffs) before we divine the next Senate majority leader? — one might be tempted to grab a drink, catch a movie and perhaps wait for “The Daily Show” recap on Wednesday, rather than suffer through umpteen hours of wall-to-wall news coverage.

But that’s not how #ThisTown rolls, is it? Full story

October 8, 2014

Steve King Embraces Twitter Hate

Rep. Steve King doesn’t appear to be the least bit fazed by all the rhetorical jabs thrown at him on social media.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

If anything, the cyber-sparring seems to tickle his funny bone.

The Iowa Republican recently engaged in a little self-deprecating exercise his re-election campaign has dubbed “King Mean Tweets” — an ego gut-check originally developed by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

“I enjoy their colorful nature,” King told HOH about the staff-selected taunts he and his wife, Marilyn, scrolled through during the inaugural video segment.

Capitol Hill got its first taste of mean tweets mania this spring, after Now This News convinced a handful of sitting pols to face the online firing squad. Full story

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