Almost every night on late night TV [and almost 24/7 on Comedy Central] the Garden State is a punch line to a joke or two or three or more. From “You’re from Jersey? What Exit?” to the “Top Ten Ways You Know You’re from New Jersey”, we are the most maligned state in the nation. Well, you can thank Governor Corzine for putting an end to that ---one late night show at a time.
He is starting with The Late Late Show with host Craig Ferguson from CBS. Seems that Ferguson [no relation to Congressman Mike Ferguson, I hope] is a Scotsman, and is interested in becoming an American citizen. He is employed in the U.S., and I do not know if his current immigration status is legal or not.
Ferguson is asking towns and states to name him an honorary citizenship, and has been named an official citizen of about 16,000 or so towns. Corzine, ever the good business man, has made Ferguson an offer he can’t refuse. Here is the letter sent by our Governor to CBS by regular mail, not email:
Dear Craig -
I understand you are seeking to become an honorary citizen of the state of New Jersey.
Before we bestow this great honor upon you, however, I feel the need to explain to you the burdens and responsibilities of being a citizen of the great Garden State.
First, anytime anyone refers to the New York Giants, New York Jets or New York Red Bulls, you have to sigh, roll your eyes and remind that person that all of those teams actually play in New Jersey. Same goes for the Statue of Liberty.
Second, anytime someone only knows New Jersey because "Tony Soprano is from there," you are required to mention that there is an endless list of notable and accomplished individuals who lived in or are from New Jersey, including two current Supreme Court Justices, Albert Einstein, and Joe Piscopo.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, you must immediately adjust your musical tastes so that Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Queen Latifah are the only artists on your iPod. This is non-negotiable.
Finally, enclosed with this letter, please find a chip that is to be placed directly on your shoulder (left or right). This chip must be clearly visible to anyone who suggests that New Jersey is simply "the state between New York City and Philadelphia."
If you are prepared to take all of those steps, I am thrilled to grant you honorary status as a citizen of New Jersey.
Governor Jon S. Corzine
I would have added the following, just to sweeten the pot:
• Two tickets to see “The Jersey Boys” on Broadway
• An EZPass good for one year
• A recording of Abbott & Costello’s "Who’s On First" routine, along with a picture of the Lou Costello statue in Paterson.
• A six-month subscription to “Weird New Jersey”.
• A Beach Tag good at any beach in New Jersey between Beach Haven and Wildwood for the remainder of the summer.
• I would add the follow famous New Jerseyeans to the list Ferguson must mention when he hears a NJ joke: Frank Sinatra, Meryl Streep, Paul Robeson, Tom Cruise, and Jack Nicholson.
That should lock in the deal.