Vincenzo Sicari's career as a New Jersey judge came to an end yesterday when the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that his performances at comedy clubs and on television in his alter ego, Vince August, could cast the judiciary in a bad light, reports the New Jersey Law Journal. “To be sure, the routines are designed to be funny,” the court said. “We must acknowledge, however, that many regard the maxim 'many a true word is said in jest' as a fundamental truth.”
The justices were unpersuaded by the South Hackensack municipal court judge's arguments that he never cracks jokes about the legal profession and that he goes to great lengths to keep his judicial and stage identities separate. Sicari resigned from the bench yesterday. “The Supreme Court told me I couldn't pursue both careers and … I had to make a choice,” he says. “I chose the entertainment path over the judicial path because it's something I've been doing for years. I want to make the dream a reality.” A court advisory committee had cited the risk “viewers could recognize him,” which would “likely create a perception of bias, predisposition, a lack of impartiality,” and risk “impair[ing] the dignity and esteem in which the court should be held.” Sicari's material is a mix of ranting and self-deprecating jokes about his personal life, racial stereotypes, religion and society in general.