Comedian Fights To Hold On To His Day Job

Vince Sicari presides over traffic ticket cases, among other things, in South Hackensack, N.J. It's only a part-time position. By night, the judge moonlights as a standup comic which violates state ethics rules. Sicari has appealed to the state's highest court, arguing the public can tell the difference between his two personas.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


The work of the high court justices is serious stuff, but one lower court judge wants to continue being a funny man off the bench. His lawyer argued yesterday before the New Jersey Supreme Court that Vince Sicari should be able to pursue side work as an actor and comedian. By day, he's a part-time municipal judge in South Hackensack. By night, he performs stand-up comedy under the stage name Vince August.


VINCE SICARI: Do you really hunt?


SICARI: (as Vince August) Do you hunt deer? Now, let me ask you this question, and be honest with me: Do you consider hunting a sport? It's not a sport if the other side doesn't know you're playing.


MONTAGNE: Vince Sicari, the judge, is appealing a state ethics committee ruling that he can't do both paid gigs. Yesterday, New Jersey's chief justice questioned whether Sicari's material includes, quote, "demeaning individuals based on race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status."

In fact, as an actor, he has said outrageous and even offensive things to provoke passersby, on an ABC hidden camera show. He also warms up audiences for "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report." And, Sicari says, he always keeps his personas separate - no jokes from the bench, no mention of the law while doing standup.

So far, no punch line in the case. New Jersey's high court has yet to issue its ruling. It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.