CITY COUNCILMAN . . . convicted felon . . . stand-up comedian?
That's the new career path former Councilman Rick Mariano is shooting for these days as he mines his time in City Hall and federal prison for chuckles.
Mariano was to appear at 7:40 a.m. today on John DeBella's show on WMGK (102.9-FM) to try his hand at about a minute of stand-up.
It's part of the 5th Annual DeBella Comedy Competition.
"Ten years in Council. Five years in prison. It gives you a lot of material for comedy," Mariano, a union electrician, told us by phone yesterday from the construction site where he is working. "Oh, I got great stuff."
DeBella said Mariano entered the contest by email like everyone else.
"At first I thought it was just a similar name and the guy was joking, so I called him and he confirmed," DeBella said. "The mere fact that he's doing this might be the biggest joke of all."
Mariano, who had been sentenced to six years in prison for a 2006 bribery conviction, was released in October. He said his high-profile name got him through the door for DeBella's show. His jokes will have to help him stay there.
A sample: Mariano riffs about learning to use Facebook and Internet dating since his wife left him after he got out of prison. His latest lady friend broke up with him via Facebook. "The reason she broke up with me? My ankle bracelet scratched her knee."
Mariano said he will do the show by cellphone from his construction job, which is due to wrap up a week from Friday.
Comedy Competition jokesters aim for the grand prize: $1,000 and a chance to perform at Helium Comedy Club in Center City.
Mariano is also lobbying for Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky to let him perform at his 21st Annual Candidates Comedy Night, an Aug. 18 fundraiser for the Variety Club of Philadelphia.