THE 21ST EDITION of the Stu Bykofsky Candidates' Comedy Night, normally a comedy exhibition with an occasional edge, last week sometimes sounded like a roast, with Your Favorite Columnist and Mayor Nutter being on the spit.
Bomb-throwers mostly were fellow Democrats.
But if you're a public figure, you have to be able take it, and I'm sure I speak for the mayor when I lie and say the barbs were good-natured, well-intended and meant no harm.
Like Councilman Wilson Goode belittling the size and effectiveness of my, um, "equipment." I'm not talking about my iPhone.
Like Councilman Bill Green likening me and Committee of Seventy honcho (and former Byko boss) Zack Stalberg to a couple of unprintable body parts, both below the waist, one in front, one behind. Noting that Nutter had just returned from a conference aimed at making Philadelphia a green city, Green called it "a vision of the city you and I share."
OK, he'll be a mayoral candidate at the show in four years.
Nutter caught it from them and others, plus from professional comic Joe Conklin, who did a hilarious impression of Nutter as Urkel. Nutter laughed his head off during Conklin's bit.
A guaranteed showstopper, Conklin sprayed the political scene and the sports scene and remembered the "good ol' days when you got mugged by one person at a time."
Some of the best material from the show never gets printed. That's why you should buy a ticket next year.
Nutter turned a negative (mayhem mobs) into a positive by opening as if he were at a church - "Sorry. Wrong speech" - and then interrupting his routine with a "cellphone call" from Bill Cosby.
Passing up comedy was Stephanie Singer, who sang "Union Maid" while accompanying herself on a banjo.
The point of the show is to raise money for Variety, the Children's Charity, and last week's fundraiser brought in a record $32,000. No joke, that's why I do it.
Since the purpose of the show is to raise money, Variety is indebted to Freedom Taxi, headed by Everett M. Abitbol and Evgeny A. Freidman, as title sponsor. The coming-to-Philly taxi company will offer a hybrid and green fleet, containing wheelchair-accessible cabs.
Those who supported the show, and the cause, by buying tables were: state Rep Denny O'Brien, the GOP City Committee, Local 98 IBEW (two tables), Comcast, Joe McColgan, Loyal Opposition of Philadelphia, MyPhillyLawyer, Emerald Capital Group, Bonnie Squires, Freedom Taxi (two tables), Peco, Register of Wills Ron Donatucci, Daily News/Inquirer/Philly.com, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Mayor Michael Nutter (two tables), Marc Howard, the Democratic City Committee, state Sen. Mike Stack, Club Risque, Computer Mobile Technologies, Al Schmidt, state Rep. Jewell Williams, Al Taubenberger, David Oh and Karen Brown.
Those contributing time and/or services include the Printers Place for show tickets; Kalnin Graphics for the show program; DJ Dennis Burke; Mike Driscoll and Finnigan's Wake for the room; plus Top Guns Corporate Photography; hostesses from Jenna Communications; my right arms at Variety, Marissa Tabak and Liz Roberts; and the other Variety volunteers and staffers, led by executive director Kelly Green.
As to the jokes (I mean candidates) who slammed me, as a host I cannot respond.
Here and now. But later . . . just kidding. Others have lambasted me and never left a scar.