The Jewish heritage barbeque at Gracie Mansion


It’s not yet clear what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be doing with his time after Jan. 1, 2014, when his mayoral term expires.

But one thing is certain: He won’t be going into stand-up comedy. Or, at least, he shouldn’t.

At Tuesday night’s Jewish Heritage event at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence (where the $22 billion mayor doesn’t live), Bloomberg opened his remarks with a series of jokes that landed as flat as his delivery was uninspired.

“It’s an exciting time of the year: the holiday of Shavuot is coming up,” he said before cracking some nonsensical joke about Moses.

Acknowledging the absence of laughter in the tent pitched on Gracie Mansion’s lawn, the Jewish mayor tried a few more from his script before shifting topics and talking about the recent occurrence of Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of Israel’s capture of the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Except Bloomberg said it happened in 1987.

No matter: The audience wasn’t letting the mayor’s speech interrupt their conversations, anyway. They seemed much more interested in the barbeques filled with grilling hot dogs, hamburgers and teriyaki chicken than they did with the three-term mayor.

The event Tuesday night wasn’t so much a political event as a picnic party – hosted jointly by the mayor and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. It looks about the same from year to year, and is a nod both to Jewish Heritage Week-NY (which goes back decades) and national Jewish Heritage Month, which President George W. Bush inaugurated in May 2006.

Aside from the mayor’s brief remarks and a plug for Delta Airlines, one of the sponsors, all there was to it was music, Jews and food, complete with tiki torches, picnic tables and lemonade. When the mayor introduced the entertainment for the evening, Brooklyn’s own Neil Sedaka, he said, “Oy, I feel like kvelling.”

But he didn’t feel like staying: Another minute or two, and the mayor was out of there.

Here’s some video from last year’s event (which was pretty much identical to Tuesday night’s, except he was funnier last year):

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