The Hummers road show presents the Academy Awards

By Marianne Goodland
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The annual end-of-session roasting of the best and worst of the General Assembly took a new tact this year, when it was moved off-site and became a (somewhat) bi-partisan event.

Reps. Amy Stephens, R-Monument and B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland, show off the prestigious “Hummy” statue given to winners in this year’s Hummers show.
Photo by Jody Hope Strogoff/The Colorado Statesman

The annual “Hummers” has traditionally been an opportunity for the minority party to roast the majority party. Hummers traditionally features music and skits and allows the minority party to poke fun — not always in a gentle way — at their opponents on the other side of the aisle.

Hummers has been cancelled twice in the past decade: in 2002 after the so-called “midnight gerrymander,” when Democrats, who were in the minority, were too angry to hold them, and by majority Democrats in 2007 who were unhappy about the nature of the skits done the previous year by the minority Republicans.

This year, Democrat leaders cancelled Hummers for the same reasons, but that’s when legislators went to work to save the event. They scheduled the annual event for Monday night at the University Club, sold $10 tickets at the door ($50 for advance tickets) and dedicated the proceeds to the Colorado Channel, which broadcasts the legislative sessions on Comcast cable.

And for the first time, both parties got an opportunity to skewer the other side, although the Democrats’ script got written just the night before, according to its author, Rep. Karen Middleton, D-Aurora.

Hummer emcees were House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker and Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, who led off the evening with dancing (oy!) and rapping (oy!)

The evening featured “Hummer awards.” The awards included:

Hummer emcees were House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker and Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, who shared the stage for a crowd pleasing rappin’ and dancin’ number.
Photo by Jody Hope Strogoff/The Colorado Statesman

Best Performance in a Conflicted Role, won by Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, for Angels & Demons. Pace, as played by Rep. Mark Waller. R-Colorado Springs, debated over which stand to take on issues that might affect his chances for a congressional seat. The angel was played by Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West; the devil by Rep. Marsha Looper, R-Calhan.

Most Pointless Stand on Principle, won by the “Cougar Council,” made up of Sens. Suzanne Williams, D-Aurora, Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora and Linda Newell, D-Littleton, as played by Reps. Cindy Acree, R-Aurora, Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock and Laura Bradford, R-Grand Junction. The council reviewed high school mascot applicants, “young bucks” played by Reps. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton and Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs.

One of the evening’s biggest “hits,” Best Performance in a Joint Roll [sic], was won by Massey and Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, as played by Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs and Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs. “Massey” and “Romer” were nicknamed Cheech and Chong and discussed bills on medical marijuana in-between hits on a faux two-foot-long bomber joint.

Rep. David Balmer offers fellow Arapahoe County Republican Rep. Spencer Swalm (portrayed by Rep. Daniel Kagan) a banana in one of the spoofs.
Photo by Jody Hope Strogoff/The Colorado Statesman

Songs included “How do You Solve a Problem Like Chris Romer,” sung to the tune of “How do You Solve a Problem Like Maria,” from Sound of Music; “If I Had a Million Dollars,” a parody on state spending that grew from a million dollars to a “jillion” dollars, sung to the tune of the same name by the Barenaked Ladies and featuring Rep. B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland and Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument.

While attendance at the off-site Hummers was nowhere near what it is when it’s on the floor of the House, (when the chamber and gallery are standing-room only) a good time was still had by all.

Marianne@coloradostatesman.com

Full photo coverage in this week's print edition.