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April 2, 2014

Brendan Byrne, New Jersey's oldest living governor celebrated his 90th last night with a birthday roast -- a fitting tribute to a man whose comedic talents are well known. Among those on hand to wish him the best were professional comedians, former governors, and a current one. Here's a brief sampling of what drew some of the laughs:

State Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-Union), Assembly minority leader “I am so sorry for the state of New Jersey that we took your name off the Brendan Byrne Arena. But I spoke to Gov. Christie tonight, and he said there are naming rights for a small bridge near Fort Lee.”

Gov. Brendan Byrne and wife Ruthie
Credit: Governor's Office/Paul Wusow
Gov. Brendan Byrne and wife Ruthie.

James McGreevey, former governor “Gov. Byrne is in terrific physical shape. In fact, every week. Brendan swims in a hotel pool at the Short Hills Hilton. I was impressed when he told me. Also, I had never seen before a seersucker Speedo.”

Reese Waters, comedian “I am happy to be here with Gov. Christie sitting to my right. A lot of people think Chris Christie will be the next president, continuing a fine Republican tradition of taking jobs from black men.”

Former governor and current state Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex) “Somebody mentioned something about New Jersey’s unelected governors. Gov. Whitman was responsible for New Jersey’s first unelected governor -- Gov. DiFrancesco. Gov. McGreevey was responsible for New Jersey’s second unelected governor -- me. And of course, Gov. Christie is responsible for making George Norcross New Jersey’s third unelected governor.”

Former Gov. Brendan Byrne, the birthday boy “There was a time when 96 percent of the people in New Jersey knew who I was, and 4 percent thought I was doing a good job.”

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