Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Mike Bloomberg Sings! With Help From Nick Jonas. (Video)

The text message was rather urgent. “Get in your tux and get your butt down to the Hilton right now. I’ve got an open seat at my table.”

Quick as a wink, I got in my tux and hailed a cab for midtown Manhattan. That message from a friend who shall not be named was how I ended up crashing the 2012 Inner Circle Show, an annual New York ritual where members of the city’s press corps put on an impressive musical roast of the local, regional and national political elite since 1922. It’s a big black-tie affair, and an invite is not easy to get.

The highlight of the night is always the Mayor’s Rebuttal. Last year, Mayor Mike Bloomberg flew around the stage as Spider-Man, taking advantage of the infamous buzz that plagued that Broadway show back then.

As you’ve probably figured out, Mayor Mike doesn’t do anything small. Being the 20th-richest person the world — worth some $22 billion via his majority ownership of the financial data and media company that bears his name — has its perks. One of them is the ability to hire the cast of a hit Broadway show to help make you look good on stage. (Full disclosure: I worked for that company for about a year before taking this job.)

This year, Bloomberg hired what must have been the majority of the cast of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” including its current headliner, Nick Jonas, a.k.a. “the cute Jonas Brother,” and also longtime Hollywood actor Beau Bridges.

Naturally, there were a lot of references to local political chatter. In the skit, Bloomberg bans coffee at City Hall — a reference to his administration’s war on nasty food ingredients like trans fats and salt — touching off a drama among city employees. He also quizzes the presidents of Cornell and Stanford University on their knowledge of New York — a quiz Stanford fails, prompting her to walk out. It’s a reference to a real-world competition between the two to develop a technology hub on Roosevelt Island, and yes, Stanford really did walk away. And of course there were plenty of references to Lady Gaga, whom Bloomberg famously kissed on New Year’s Eve.

Below is a six-minute highlight reel of Bloomberg’s production, which ran a good 30 minutes or more. The fun lasted well into the wee hours this morning. Hilton security guards shut down a crowded after-party in a penthouse suite at about 2:30 am. (I crashed that, too, again with the help of the friend who shall not be named.) One wonders if Bloomberg can be coaxed into a reprise when he hits the stage at our D10 conference in May. We can at least hope!


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