Last night at the Baltimore Comedy Factory, Baltimore Sun sports columnist Peter Schmuck hosted a roast of former mayor Sheila Dixon that featured radio guys like Marc Steiner, Kirk McEwan, and Konan, political figures, and local comedians taking turns lashing out at the mayor—and each other—with proceeds to benefit Agape House, a charity the former mayor has championed.
Schmuck, who would later be called a "fat bastard," among other things, opened up the roast, attended by about 100 people, by telling Dixon to prepare for "the worst 90 minutes of community service of your life." For her part, the former mayor sat in a cushy office chair onstage, smiling and laughing throughout the onslaught, taking notes for her rebuttal.
Former City Council candidate Devon Brown quoted scripture: ""God helps those who help themselves"—and you helped yourself." Schmuck suggested she pined for the old days, of "free snow-plowing and shopping trips with Imelda Marcos." One comedian claimed she had "more fur coats than Ray Lewis."
Comedienne Maria Sanchez submitted some of the harshest barbs, handing Dixon a bag of gift cards and making fun of her overbite ("Were you sucking your thumb when those charges came out?") and her bright orange shirt and black pants: "You look like the Oriole bird—oh, wait, is that your new job?" She also referred to current mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, greedily rubbing her hands together in anticipation as Dixon went down.
Steiner went pretty easy on Dixon, though he did point out the Lexus SUV she arrived in. He saved his toughest comments for WYPR, the station that pushed him off the air in 2008 (read the back story here) and Dan Rodricks, the Sun columnist who took over his afternoon talk show slot, referring to "that other station that I helped start, where that fat guy took my show." (Not for nothing, but, to our eyes, Rodricks and Steiner have a similar girth).
There were frequent references to the fact that Dixon's probation ends in 2013 and that she could, theoretically, run for mayor again. "Heck Marion Barry did it," said McEwan. "And you didn't even smoke crack—or, if you did, at least it's not on tape." Comedian Greg Poole continued the riff: "Marion Barry could kill a man in broad daylight and stay in office."
The event's organizer, Richard Siegel, was the last to roast Dixon, with a parody of "Don't Worry Be Happy": "You got your looks, you got your style/ You got to play xbox once in a while."
At the end, Dixon gave her own rebuttal, suggesting that many of the comedians need to find other jobs. As for Sanchez, who had appeared in a t-shirt and sweatpants, with her hair in a frazzled ponytail, Dixon said, "Honey, I am a gift from God, I am going to take you to my hairdresser—and I'm going to pay for the gift card."
With things winding down, reflecting on all the slings and arrows she had taken over the course of the evening, many about her misconduct in office, Dixon added, "Maybe when this is all over, I can really tell the truth," she said. "I can't wait to tell everything."
[photo courtesy of abc2news.com]