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News political reporter Robert McCarthy makes SNL - briefly

Live from Philadelphia, it’s Bob McCarthy

In Buffalo’s political circles, News political reporter Robert J. McCarthy is a bit of a local celebrity.

The reporter has been with The News since 1982 and covered politics since 1992, making him a fixture at all of the significant local happenings.

But during last week’s Republican National Convention, McCarthy got a moment in the national comedy spotlight. He inadvertently wandered into a shot for “Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update”.

The show filmed a special edition of the skit at the convention, with actors spoofing the popular “Pokemon Go” game with one called “Trumpemon.”

Actor Michael Che was wandering the halls of the Quicken Loans Arena, looking at the screen of his phone when McCarthy strode into the shot briskly walking past the comedian.

McCarthy got a whole three seconds in the limelight.

“And they said I’d never make the big time,” McCarthy said.

Musical chairs at the DNC

Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen may have attended the Democratic convention, but he rarely had a good seat. In fact, convention whips moved his seat four different times to accommodate lobbyists and other bigwig family members.

What they didn’t realize is that the reason Pridgen was so accommodating to everyone else was his “bad seats” kept him closer to the exit.

“I have, every night, been one of the first to be back at the hotel,” he said.

That fast-exit strategy paid off Wednesday night. While other delegates and convention-goers struggled through nightmarish transportation delays after President Obama’s speech, Pridgen was back at the hotel and celebrating “Buffalo Night” at Con Murphy’s Irish Pub by 11:30 p.m. Other dignitaries didn’t make it until after 1 a.m.

“If I apply the skills I learned this week,” he said, “I will be able to get everything I want from the Black Friday ads.”

An alternate candidate?

Not thrilled with the prospect of choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for president this year?

Perhaps we could interest you in Grover Cleveland, the former Buffalo mayor and U.S. president who served two terms in the White House in the late 19th century.

Despite being dead for a solid 108 years, Cleveland and his veep Adlai Stevenson appeared on social media late last month with a slick campaign to reassume control of the free world.

The campaign’s catchy slogan? “Freedom. Integrity. Moustache.”

It all started on June 28 with a nod to Barack Obama: “Considering another run for #POTUS. What say you, @BarackObama? #myfirstTweet”

It’s continued with a series of increasingly absurd, old-timey dispatches from the past touching on everything from the finer points of sending a telegram to the confounding popularity of Pokemon Go.

Survival skills

The Erie County Water Authority reported 11 separate water main breaks throughout the suburbs last Sunday, just one day after the agency lifted a boil-water advisory that was prompted by an earlier, massive break affecting 250,000 county residents.

But one high-profile business in Cheektowaga wasn’t going to let water problems scare away its customers.

People driving by Scores Buffalo Airport, billed as “Buffalo’s premier upscale gentlemen’s club” at Transit Road and Genesee Street, on Monday saw this sign outside the entrance: “We Have Bottled Water and Girls.”

We’re unsure if the items on the sign were listed in order of importance or why the performers got second billing. However, by Tuesday, our correspondent tells us, all was status quo at the venue as the sign outside was changed to this: “We Have Cold Beer and Girls.”

It got us thinking. Come February, will someone passing by Scores see this: “We Have Hot Cocoa and Girls?”

Off Main Street is written by Tiffany Lankes with contributions by Stephen T. Watson, Sandra Tan and Colin Dabkowski. Email:

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