Not Funny: NJ Supreme Court Says Judges Can't Do Stand Up
from the benched dept
"The judge's acting and comedy career is incompatible with the Code of Judicial Conduct and therefore he may not serve as a municipal court judge while continuing with that career," the court wrote in a unanimous 7-0 opinion.Specifically, the court noted that Sicari's work has included playing bit roles on shows like ABC's What Would You Do?, in which he essentially pretends to be a jackass, often a racist or vulgar jackass, to see how those around him will react. The court says that the discerning public won't be able to separate the words spoken in this role and during his standup routines and the words he utters from the bench, because apparently residents of New Jersey never watched Sesame Street growing up and don't know what the word "pretend" means. Judges, you see, are not allowed to be funny.
Pictured: The Florida Supreme Court shortly before their summary execution under the Rabbit Ears Act Of 1918
This, in case you aren't sure, is stupid. Aside from the fact that what the court points to in terms of Sicari's performances are his in character roles, the other problem is that he's gone out of his way to not do comedy about legal matters or make jokes from the bench. He also performs under a different name (Vince August instead of Vince Sicari). Still, an attorney for the state argued that the public would be confused over which Sicari was the real Sicari after seeing him play characters on the show, because apparently that attorney hasn't seen ABC's ratings.
Look, being a judge is important, even a traffic court judge like Sicari. I get that. But do we really want to live in a society where you can't be a comedian and serve the public? Hell, half of our public servants are hilarious unintentionally. That's because public discourse is inherently funny, due to the fact that the public is involved and half of them are morons. See? That was a joke. Kind of.