ELKTON — When the town was searching for someone to ridicule for its first-ever comedy roast, they figured who better for the job than Mayor Rob Alt himself, said Rob Massimiano, owner of Tidewater Tattoo Studio.
“He’s the obvious target,” said Massimiano, who will be the emcee for the event. “First, there’s the visual. Second, he’s so well-known and he’s got his hand in so many different things that there are many targets to choose from if you want to give him a good ribbing.”
The Elkton Chamber and Alliance will host the “Comedy Roast of Mayor Rob Alt” at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at town hall, located at 100 Railroad Ave. in Elkton. Tickets cost $35 per person, and include a beef and beer dinner which starts at 6 p.m. followed by the roast at 7 p.m.
Massimiano, who actually went to high school with Alt, assured that the roast is all in good fun.
“Everyone is well aware of what they’re getting into,” he said.
Alt, too, is gung-ho about the humorous tone of Elkton Alliance’s new event.
“They felt to kick this off correctly, what better person than the mayor of Elkton to be the first one that gets laughed at,” he said. “I was fine with it.”
In fact, Alt said he is looking forward to being the man of the hour, and he hopes the event turns into an annual occurrence.
“I was honored to be the first person roasted, and I hope that this could be something that we could really do a really nice tradition once a year with the Elkton community,” he said.
Massimiano decided to bring the idea of a comedy roast to Elkton after attending — and even participating in — several similar roasts at the National Tattoo Convention year after year.
The conventions often picked Massimiano himself to be the person being roasted as he “got a reputation as being a wise guy.” In fact, he said he was the last person to be roasted before the convention finished its run in April 2018.
For Elkton’s roast, Alt got to pick his own panel of six close friends who will be dealing comedic jabs at the mayor.
“I’m picking my own poison,” he said.
The roasting panel will feature Cecil County Council President Bob Meffley; Elkton Police Department Capt. Joe Zurolo; Elk River Brewing Company owner Brad Carrillo; Bathon Builders owner Larry Bathon; and two other of Alt’s friends, Dave Wiseman and Mark Maniso.
“He’s picked a great panel,” Massimiano said. “I think it’s going to be a great event.”
When he was selecting the group who would be roasting him, Alt said he wanted the best of the best to be dishing out the jokes.
“I’m very fortunate I was born and bred here in Elkton,” he said. “I know a lot of people and I have a lot of good friends. I chose some friends of mine that I think are pretty witty. They’re going to be in front of an audience and I think that they can deliver some one-liners at me that I think can keep the audience pretty happy and laughing.”
After having attended Salisbury State College together, played softball and baseball with one another, and gone hunting and fishing by each other’s side, Alt said Wiseman probably knows more about him than anybody else — perhaps too much.
“I might have to beg him not to say too much … We know a lot about each other. He is truly like my brother,” Alt said.
Working together as the mayor and police captain, Alt said he and Zurolo have built a strong friendship.
“We have built a real good bond over the last six or seven years,” he said. “My town business with him has really turned into a really good personal friendship. He knows probably the most about me in recent times.”
Alt has become almost like a father figure to Carrillo, though he’s not sure that will stop the brewery owner from teasing him.
“When he moved here in 1998 or 1999, I kind of took him under my wing and he helped out coaching a football program with me,” he said. “We’ve been very dear friends ever since. I always say Brad is like my oldest son.”
The mayor expects a good deal of jokes from Maniso, whose children went to school with Alt’s kids.
Bathon will likely tell a lot of boating-related tales, Alt said.
“We go out on his boat on occasions and have a few adult beverages together,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of stories from that.”
After helping Meffley on his path to the county council, Alt said he and the councilman have a lot of stories to share.
“I would say I was very active in Bob Meffley’s campaign when he got elected on the county council, and there’s a lot of stories there with Bob Meffley and I,” he said. “But I can get back at him because he’s a plumber by trade. There’s a lot of plumbing jokes out there.”
In addition to being the subject of the roast, Alt is looking forward to throwing the jokes right back at his roasters.
“I get to fire it back at these guys,” he said. “They’re going to roast me first, but I get the last laugh and I’m going to zing them a little bit.”
Massimiano said folks should come out to support the Elkton Alliance during an evening that he said is sure to bring lots of laughs.
“It’s going to be a really good time, I guarantee it,” he said. “I’ve been talking to the guys. They’ve been doing their homework.”
Attendees must RSVP by Feb. 18 by emailing www.elktonalliance.org or calling 410-398-5076.