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The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Ring-Tum Phi awards for best jokes by state chairs

Laughter filled the Tennis Center as state chairs threw insults at each other and themselves during the roll call vote
Stef Chiguluri
State chair Sam Griffiths, ’24, shares jokes about Michigan.

From Mike Pompeo’s impression of former President Donald Trump to Chris Miller’s quick humor and peace-sign socks, Mock Con was full of memorable laughs. But no one was funnier than the 56 state and territory chairs who each took the mic for their delegations’s roll call vote after months of research and preparation.

Because not every state can be lucky enough to win the award for best parade float (shoutout to Puerto Rico), here are The Ring-Tum Phi’s awards for the best state jokes of the 28th Mock Convention. You won’t get a handshake from First Lady of Virginia Suzanne Youngkin for winning these, but you’ll at least get bragging rights and a possible shoutout on Fizz.

Best dig at your own state:

Winner: Florida State Chair Emma Conover, ’24

“The great state of Florida: home to 80 percent of our nation’s elderly voters and 90 percent of people evading paying their taxes. We’ve made drag illegal, but it’s totally cool with us that our governor wears high heels.”

Honorable Mention: Georgia State Chair Jack Hunter, ’24

“Sorry if I sound a little out of breath. I’m still looking for the 11,000 missing votes from Georgia from 2020.”

Best dig at another state:

Winner: Ohio State Chair Emma Poole, ’24

“The great state of Ohio is home to The Ohio State University, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, LeBron James, The Ohio State University, the Wright Brothers and the first plane — which North Carolina might know if they spent a little less time dating their cousins — Thomas Edison, The Ohio State University, Lake Erie, 700 million bushels of corn, and most importantly, Smucker’s Jelly Incorporated.”

Honorable Mention: Pennsylvania State Chair Sam Haines, ’25

“They say Ohio and New Jersey are the armpits of America. It seems to us like that makes Pennsylvania the heart of America…We may not be known for having the smoothest or fastest roads, but the next time you find yourself in PA stuck in traffic behind an Amish buggy, we hope you’ll be glad that you’re at least not in New Jersey.”

Best political commentary:

Winner: Delaware State Chair Claire Manning, ’26

“Not only are we the oldest state, we’ve produced the oldest sitting U.S. president in history. And while Joe Biden didn’t receive Mock Con’s nomination in 2020, I’m sure there are no hard feelings since he probably doesn’t remember it anyway.”

Honorable Mention: New Hampshire State Chair Eli Staubi, ’25

“New Hampshire: the place where Donald Trump did his best impression of Joe Biden by confusing Nancy Pelosi for Nikki Haley, while Nikki Haley did her best impression of certain groups here in Lexington by failing to acknowledge slavery’s role in the Civil War.”

Best play on other Mock Con humor:

Winner: Maryland State Chair Shelby Miller, ’24

Miller responded to commentator Candace Owens’ comment about Baltimore’s reading proficiency levels by saying that Maryland “is home to many wonderful things: blue crabs, old bay with every meal, and, throughout the state including Baltimore, literate high schoolers.”

Honorable Mention: Washington State Chair Mika Gothard, ’24

Gothard poked fun at the last-minute rush to build parade floats with her joke, “Washington: birthplace of Amazon and Starbucks, without which yesterday’s parade might not have been possible due to a lack of caffeine and prime overnight shipping.”

Best fun facts:

Winner: Tennessee State Chair Adelaide Dashiff, ’24

“[Tennessee] is the pride of our nation, not because it’s the biggest state nor the smartest…but because it is home to the woman who holds the world record for longest competitive mullet.”

Honorable Mention: California State Chair Kate Lardner, ’24

“California: a friend to many animals: sea lions, humpback whales, otters, quails and Snoop Dogg.” 

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Emma Malinak, Managing Editor

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    Elizabeth BernbaumFeb 15, 2024 at 7:47 pm

    The roll call was absolutely the best! The students can compete against the best late night television writers, and SNL should seriously consider recruiting on campus. Sadly, as a Floridian, I can attest to Ms. Conover’s accuracy and agree with her win here!