Judge Steps Down, Chooses Comedy

from the what-a-joke dept

Well, here's some unfortunate, but expected, news. Vince Sicari, the jokester judge with dual part-time jobs as New Jersey traffic court justice and comedic actor has chosen not to continue seeking redress from his legal-y masters. After being told he had to choose between his judgeship or being funny, he decided to continue to be funny. That isn't to say he isn't disappointed, of course.
Sicari said he had hoped for a different decision, but was braced for the court's interpretation.

"I was beyond proud to be a judge and I consider myself lucky to have done two jobs I loved," said Sicari. "But, I respect the court's decision."
If this story didn't have enough funny details already, consider that the court that made this ruling dedicated time during the trial to sit and watch several examples of Sicari's routine. A group of supreme court justices, sitting together, watching comedy routines of another judge as part of trial. You can't make this stuff up.

It's a damn shame that Sicari can't serve the public as a judge, part-time mind you, earning roughly $13,000 a year with no beneifts for his service, while also pursuing comedy and acting gigs. In fact, as commenters on the original article noted, it sure sounds like this ruling might butt up against that pesky First Amendment that causes so many problems these days. Unfortunately, Sicari is quitting the fight, leaving the latest ruling unchallenged. For those of us that have both common sense and a sense of humor, we lost a friend in the legal system...for now.
"As long as this is a rule, I won't sit on the bench again in New Jersey. That is, unless someone wants to offer me a judge TV show."
Dear comedy gods, please make this happen, like, yesterday.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    BentFranklin (profile), Sep 20th, 2013 @ 2:55pm

    Humor should not only be allowed in all situations, it should be mandatory. If you hate terrorism, then you should love humor, because humor is the diametrical opposite of terrorism. Terrorism is attempting to change policy through violence, so attempting to change policy through laughter is the antidote.

    Also, I find this very illuminating:
    http://tomveatch.com/else/humor/paper/

     

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    OldGeezer (profile), Sep 20th, 2013 @ 4:15pm

    I don't think it was just the fact that he was doing comedy, it was the content of his act. Even the appearance of racism in the courtroom is a problem. If you were a minority and thought this judge treated you unfairly you could have a pretty good appeal.

     

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      Mark D. (profile), Sep 20th, 2013 @ 4:50pm

      Re:

      Right, because it is so difficult to understand the complex and difficult subject of...I hope I'm spelling this right...
      something called "acting". Anyone who cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality is not fit to be a judge.

       

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        OldGeezer (profile), Sep 20th, 2013 @ 5:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Regardless of someone's racial opinions, it is not a far leap when you hear them make racist comments that they may be bigoted. A judge must avoid even the appearance of impropriety. It's what is called being held to a higher standard. Verdicts have been overturned on less.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But should that only apply when he's in the court, or should it also apply forever?

           

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            OldGeezer (profile), Sep 20th, 2013 @ 6:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Just look at the O.J. trial. Mark Furman used racist language previously and the defense was able to play this that because O.J. was black he must have wanted to frame him. You and I both know that was a big stretch but as I said, in court it is a matter of perception. If this guy's comedy had not involved such potentially offensive racial material I doubt it would have ever even have come up. A judge must appear 100% unbiased.

             

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    Arthur Moore (profile), Sep 20th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    Sad

    It's sad that he's not fighting this ruling. If only because now we have yet another ruling on the books that limits free speech.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2013 @ 9:31pm

    Yeah this guy needs his own show because he's actually very funny. I can't say the same about Judge Alex, Judy,and the black one. Well that comes off as racist, I should have just Googled his name, but I'll leave it.

     

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    David Heti (profile), Sep 22nd, 2013 @ 9:18am

    the same thing happened to me!

    I was doing stand-up while was practicing law at the Dept. of Justice Canada. Apparently people at work told HR and then Ottawa determined it was a conflict of interest. They made me choose between no longer using "a certain type of material," specifically, "for example, sexual abuse of children, abortion, violence against women and war crimes," or my job.

    I'm still doing stand-up. Here's the story:

    http://davidheti.com/2013/03/12/post-fiat-set-number-one-2/

     

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      Michael, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 1:27pm

      Re: the same thing happened to me!

      Really? Sexual abuse of children was in your stand-up routine?

      You Canadians really know how to laugh it up.

       

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    Ninja (profile), Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 4:53am

    Lack of sense of humor and extreme fear of everything is what's driving society towards totalitarianism.

     

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    xofer marlow, Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 7:23am

    typo alert

    "no beneifts" for "no benefits"

     

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