Hopkins officials presented a lot of good information at last night’s State of the City. But like the White House Correspondents' Association’s annual dinner with the president, the event is as much about the jokes and entertainment as it is about news that many have already heard.
This year’s State of the City was ostensibly patterned after the daytime talk show The View and rechristened Our View. But it borrowed liberally from late-night talk shows—and added a heap of random jokes just for good fun.
Here’s a look at the funniest moments of the night.
What’s a talk show without a top 10 list? Hopkins kicked off the night with its own spin on David Letterman’s tradition.
“Top Ten Reasons We Are Here Tonight …
- To see if [Taste of Hopkins organizer] Nora [Davis] could convince the Hopkins Health Dept. to open Jack Yees for a day so we could have egg rolls. [The restaurant was closed in 2009 for health and sanitation violations.]
- To hear which Hopkins restaurant the Mayor would mispronounce.
- To see what a lame duck is—[Councilman] Bruce [Rowan], please stand up.
- To hear if [Councilwoman] Cheryl [Youakim] still works at the Capital. [Youakim works for DFL state Sen. Ron Latz, whose party saw massive losses in the November election.]
- To congratulate Christy [Councilwoman Kristi Halverson] on being the Grand Leprechaun in the Hopkins St. Patricks Day parade.
- To hear how many historical books [Councilman] Rick [Brausen], the liaison to the Historical Society, has left to give out. (2,461)
- To volunteer to guard our South West border (Eden Prairie) until the Federal Troops arrive.
- To see if [City Manager] Rick [Getschow] knows how long it will take him to run around Eden Prairie before he realizes there is no downtown. [Getschow was just ]
- To tell Rick that Title Town is Green Bay not Eden Prairie. [Getschow is an unapologetic Packers fan.]
- To tell Rick “Thanks” and that we wish him the best.
Worst pun: The council member who quipped, "What’s the saying about too many chiefs in the kitchen?" The comment accompanied the introduction of Fire Chief Dale Specken and Police Chief Mike Reynolds.
Best comeback: Reynolds—responding to kidding that his new sector names (north, south, east and west) aren’t unique—shot back with, “We have to keep it simple for the Fire Department.”
Best quip: Youakim commenting on Reynolds’ alphabet soup of acronyms said drily, “They shorten things a lot so they can get places quicker.”
Best joke involving a charity: Mayor Gene Maxwell describing the bowl he made upcoming Empty Bowls fundraiser—a soup-dinner in which residents get to keep a bowl made by someone in the community. “Mine was so bad, they had me put my initials on it.”
Best joke about this year’s winter: Councilman Rick Brausen promoting the city’s numerous parks and trails. “We’ve created miles and miles of sidewalks—for you to shovel.”
Best use of the crowd: Initially, just one person had a question for the council when the presentation was over. But a conspicuously larger number of hands shot up when Maxwell gave the first questioner a coupon for a free Wonder Roast chicken at the Midnite Market he owns. “Ah, you want a chicken, too,” he said as he proceeded to answer more questions—and hand out more coupons for free chickens.