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Take that, Leno Rebuttal: Mayor Schmoke goes on "The Tonight Show" to defend our fair city from the comedian's jokes.


Two comedy giants are scheduled to square off tonight, when Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke appears with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show."

In his Tuesday monologue, Leno ribbed Baltimore for having gonorrhea and syphilis rates far above the national average, and showed a supposed billboard on Interstate 95 that declared: "Welcome to Baltimore, please put on your condom now." After defending the city in a fax to Leno, Schmoke was invited to appear on the show via satellite from Baltimore.

As of press time, Schmoke and his top comedy advisers at City Hall were still scripting the mayor's "Tonight Show" gig. Reliable sources say the mayor will attempt a "funny" exchange with Leno, a seasoned stand-up comic. The mayor's appearance might even include what they call in show business "one-liners."

Not wanting to see him flop on national television, we've made available a Top Ten List for Kurt "Slappy" Schmoke. (The fact that Leno archrival David Letterman created Top Ten Lists should give the mayor an early advantage.)

So, good luck, Mr. Mayor. And remember, comedy is serious business.

Top Ten Reasons Baltimore Is Better Than L.A.

10. We have "Homicide." You have "L.A. Doctors."

9. We had 312 homicides last year. You had 576. (We win.)

8. We have Ray Miller. You have Davey Johnson. (You win).

7. We have star-studded evenings, as we stroll about the brightly lit Washington Monument, hand-in-hand with our significant other as feelings of love and warmth envelop us. You have smog.

6. We have the whole Hollywood Diner. You have just the Hollywood Bowl.

5. We have John Waters' "Pecker." You have "L.A. Confidential." (OK, you win again.)

4. True, we have more than a city's share of gonorrhea, syphilis, head colds, halitosis and hangnails. But you have way more plastic surgery.

3. We have pro football. You have the "Mighty Ducks."

2. We have John Unitas. You have O.J. Simpson.

And the No. 1 Reason Baltimore is better than L.A.:

You have Roseanne.

Pub Date: 12/11/98

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