SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- What do a "bad boy" and a lawyer have in common? They're headlining a comedy show at the legendary Count Basie Theater in Red Bank on Saturday, May 25.
Scotch Plains native Mike Marino ("New Jersey's Bad Boy of Comedy") and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick ("New Jersey's Funniest Lawyer") will appear together in a double bill that also includes special guest emcee Bill Spadea of NJ 101.5 FM.
"There's never a moment when people aren't laughing when he (Marino) is on the stage. I'm going to the show just to get free tickets," quipped Bramnick (R, Legislaive District 21), who also owns a thriving law practice in Scotch Plains.
Bramnick says he draws his material from being a politician, a lawyer, and a family man. Several years ago, he was encouraged to enter a New York's funniest lawyer contest. He didn't win in the Empire State, but decided to try going for the Garden State title. Bramnick was the winner three years in a row, and then the organizers stopped holding the contest. He has trademarked the moniker of "New Jersey's Funniest Lawyer" and often volunteers his services as a comedic auctioneer on behalf of non-profit organizations.
"The worst anyone can say is 'He wasn't funny', but... I guess it would be worse if Mike Marino didn't have me back again," added Bramnick, who said one could be a funny lawyer, but that he couldn't do comedy if he were a judge.
Marino has done several shows with his friend. Keeping up with "New Jersey's Bad Boy," isn't easy. He splits his time on the East and West Coasts, where he owns a Hollywood home as well as the house in Scotch Plains that belonged to his parents. He plays at the Laugh Factory, which he calls the greatest comedy club in the world. He's a popular act on dozens of cruise ships each year.
"I went to Cuba. The guard asks, 'What do you do on the ship?' I say, 'I'm a comedian, do you want to put the gun down now?"
The comedic duo have been plugging their show in a series of videos that can be viewed on YouTube and on Marino's social media channels. (Story continues below video.)
Mike Marino and Jon Bramnick with emcee Bill Spadea
Saturday, May 25, at 8:00 p.m.
Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at the Count Basie Center
99 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ