Published in The New York Times on July 20, 2008

By Jennifer Hughes

AMERICAN LEGION POST 159’s hall, with its stucco walls and dusty disco ball, is far from the hip comedy clubs found throughout the suburbs nowadays. But Jon M. Bramnick, the comic M.C. for the evening, had a guaranteed laugh line.

“This is the biggest room I’ve worked since I started my career as a stand-up comic,” joked Mr. Bramnick, who was the host of the event, a fund-raiser for the Hunterdon County Republican Committee, last month.

Most comedians can riff on politics, but Mr. Bramnick does it as an insider: he’s the Assemblyman from the 21st District.

When he was in front of the group, of about 40 Republican backers, he drew on his experience as a lawmaker — but with his tongue firmly in cheek.

“If you go to a 7-Eleven at 2 in the morning, anyone who eats one of those hot dogs, they’re drunk, “ he said. Then Mr. Bramnick went on to lament the lack of fear and respect the state’s geese show toward drivers, suggesting, “If the geese don’t stop for you, you can take them out — and it takes points off your license.”

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