Larry Sutton

Vincent Matos and
Denise Richardson

Political Lampoon Dinner
Raises Big Bucks For Charity

By Edward T. Callaghan
Photos by John Wegorzewski

ONTINUING a tradition of over 80 years, The Inner Circle, a unique group of New York journalists, showed off its thespian skills in yet another hilarious send-up of local and national politics.

“Let’s Get Ready to Fumble: Fueled by Hot Air” was a delightfully delirious lampoon penned by a committee of 20 award winning journalists helmed by People editor Larry Sutton. Everything from the West Side stadium to Christo’s The Gates to Hillary Clinton’s political aspirations was fair game for the Inner Circle’s song and dance troupe.

Whether they could croon like Sinatra or shimmy like J LO didn’t matter. The brilliantly skewering lyrics set to popular tunes were dead on the mark.

Emcee Inner Circle president James Harney, regional editor at the Daily News, proved he might have a second-act career as a standup comic. Think a young Eddie Murphy.

Fox 5 anchorman Jim Ryan drew howls as a leather-clad Gov. Jim McGreevey. But it was WNET’s Denise Richardson walking in a la Dolly Levy as Condolezza Rice that brought the house down.

New York’s favorite local newsman Gabe Pressman, an alumnus of 45 Inner Circle shows, squeezed in an appearance as New York Governor George Pataki in between his international news jaunts.

The politicians and public figures took it all in good humor. After all, the event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for over two dozen children’s charities – and it’s only one night a year.

Special kudos to all who made this evening a howling success including Carol Anne Riddell, Melissa Russo, David Diaz, John Slattery, Cheryl Wills, Kristi Witker, Rich Lamb, Shelly Strickler, Chris Olert, Kathy Beaver (her band kept the party rocking ‘til the wee hours) and the entire ensemble.

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