When I wrote about Broward Democratic Chairman Mitch Ceasar's mob last week, I detailed how his loyalists are peddling their influence with party candidates and making some pretty good money with "volunteering" and "activism." What I didn't mention is that the Brooklyn-born Ceasar gets his own paycheck, mostly in the way of lobbying contracts. You see, after the candidates with Ceasar's blessing get into office, they often then vote to give him lobbying contracts. Right now, he's got five-figure jobs in Tamarac and Deerfield Beach, two epicenters of the condo political machine.
Ceasar's effectiveness and work product as a lobbyist has always been a huge question mark. Somebody's got to give the godfather his bag of coins -- why not the taxpayers? In fact, Ceasar seems to be just as good a lobbyist as he is an aspiring comedian.
That's right, Ceasar has dreams of comedic fame, but alas, so far they've eluded him. Back in March 2007, he got his big shot on NBC 6 with his good friend Tony Segreto and bombed in spectacular fashion. It went south so badly that Ceasar was yanked from the show and Segreto had to issue a public apology for Mitch's rancid material. My colleague Tom Francis wrote about it at the time and, for old time's sake, here's his hilarious take on Ceasar's unfunny routine:
Mitch Ceasar, don't quit your day job. In a March 1 appearance on NBC 6's morning show, South Florida Today, [Ceasar] admitted to having aspirations toward a career in comedy. Jealous that the star of Judge Larry Seidlin is rising faster than his own, and maybe hoping that some Hollywood producers were still watching, Ceasar broke into a lounge act commentary on the Anna Nicole Smith case.
"What you really have is a white trash soap opera, but frankly that's being incredibly unfair to white trash," Ceasar quipped.
Rough start. Take another shot, chairman. What do you make of those reports that prior to her death Anna Nicole was seen staggering around the Hollywood Hard Rock casino, apparently in a drug-induced haze?
"I don't think it had anything to do with drugs. My explanations have to do with the fact she got an incredibly slanted breast implant."
Pretty crude stuff, Mitch. This material would make Andrew Dice Clay gag.
"The real issue has been about the disposition of Anna Nicole's body -- not... how many guys in North America have been with that body."
That crack offends on several levels -- mostly for its complete lack of originality or wit. Crowd's turning against you, Mitch. Speed it up.
"We know what it means when an attorney faints in South Florida. What does it mean?"
Mitch, no one's asking that question but you. No one wants to hear the answer. We've got to --
Fair enough. You're going out with a bang.
"South Florida continues to be the Bermuda Triangle of weirdness, but unlike the Bermuda Triangle, unfortunately, nobody disappears."
That's where you're wrong, Mitch. Give him the hook, boys.
Ten minutes later -- after the instructional segment on growing orchids -- host Tony Segreto slapped on a grave expression and stated: "We're getting a number of comments already about Mitch Ceasar, who we had on earlier." Indeed, Segreto had introduced Ceasar as a "good friend," joking that he was such a regular that the station gave him a 401(K). But Ceasar's comedic turn may have put the kibosh on all of that.
"We wanted to apologize for some of the comments (Ceasar) made," Segreto said. "We certainly did not expect the comments that he made today to come out the way they did. As it is now, NBC 6 is not planning to have him back on the show."
The crowd goes wild.
Ceasar's still trying, though. Most recently, he's been trying out some of his material with a column on the huffingtonpost.com. Here's his latest, an essay on how to "cruise" Costco for a free meal. It's insightful, if nothing else.