Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Finally Lived Up To the Hype

For once, the often-mocked annual breakfast did not disappoint.

Linda Dorcena Forry

Photo by Erik Jacobs

The St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast is usually a groan-inducing excuse for a roast that features occasional bright spots. The show rarely lives up to its legendary status, even though it’s morphed into something much bigger than its original incarnation. Ever year the city goes through the motions of bemoaning this annual civic exercise as bland and boring. The annual criticism of the breakfast is often as tiresome as the breakfast itself. Shockingly, politicians aren’t as good at roasts as professional comedians.

This year was different. From well-produced video packages to timely zingers that stung, this year’s breakfast lived up to the legend of breakfasts of yore. For once, politicians were actually funny at the annual gabfest.

Marty Walsh’s Adele Skit

The consensus winner at Sunday’s breakfast was Mayor Marty Walsh with his Adele parody of his “bromance” with Gov. Charlie Baker. Walsh went the distance on this one, donning a ridiculous fur coat while looking longingly at the State House from Boston Common. The video was self-deprecating, too, with subtle jokes about the city’s failed bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics looming in the background.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Warren didn’t have a skit, but she did slay the crowd with some strong one-liners on local and national politics. Her most potent zinger? “Donald Trump is floating Scott Brown as a running mate. I want you to think about that. It would be the perfect reality-show matchup: Celebrity Apprentice meets The Biggest Loser.” Ouch!

Brown, a Trump endorser, was so miffed by the joke he responded on Twitter:

Gov. Charlie Baker and Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry

The two paired together to create what could have doubled as a pilot for a great buddy sitcom. In the sketch, Baker and Forry frolicked around South Boston like kids, throwing water balloons at Councilor Michael Flaherty’s SUV and ding-dong-ditching Congressman Stephen Lynch’s house. In the kicker, they add a third person to their team: Rep. Nick Collins.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo

Many politicians used the state’s inevitable legalization of marijuana as source material, but it was House Speaker Robert DeLeo who had the most fun with it. In his skit, DeLeo traveled to Denver to find out more about how that state is handling marijuana legalization and returns as a hippie dressed in a Grateful Dead t-shirt.

Congressman Stephen Lynch

Props at the St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast can often backfire poorly. The best recent use of them probably dates to 2010 when Brown was skewered for the time he posed as a Cosmopolitan centerfold. Lynch topped that on Sunday when he poked fun at Walsh and Trump’s hands with, well, oversized hands.