There were laughs all around Thursday night at the Bates branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (BGCAA) as community leaders, elected officials and residents gathered to roast House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Annapolis).
The event, which raised money for the BGCAA, included a large list of local politicians and community leaders, among them, Alderwoman Classie Hoyle (D-3rd Ward), Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson (D-4th ward), County Councilman Chris Trumbauer and Chief Judge Robert M. Bell.
Busch, who has served in his position since 2003, will soon be the longest serving Maryland House Speaker.
Roasters included Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, Del. Kumar Barve (D-Gaithersburg) and Anne Arundel County District Court Judge H. Richard Duden, III. Linnel Bowen, executive director of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, served as mistress of ceremonies.
Dajuan Gay, 14 and a Boys & Girls Club member, sang the national anthem.
Reggie Broddie, BGCAA chief profesional officer, called it an honor to be roasting the speaker. Broddie said Busch's involvement with the club goes far beyond funding, making note of his efforts in coaching and leading special programs with club members.
Topics for the puns ran the gamut from football and lacrosse jokes to one-liners about redistricting. Some of the highlights/funiest jokes from the roast:
- Duden: "Betty White called and she wants her hair back."
- Barve: "He called me the Omar Sharif from the House of Delegates. Omar Shariff, really?"
- Gerard F. Devlin, former member of the House of Delegates and retired district court judge: "Two weeks ago he called Bruce, and he said, 'Secretary, this is Mike Busch. Can I talk to Bruce?' And the secretary said 'He's not in, this is Rosh Hashanah.' Well Mike said, 'Oh Rosh, if you see him....'"
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to correct that the event took place Thursday.