General Assembly 2012: The legislative laugh factory

RICHMOND (WWBT)-  Amidst the hot topics this year at the General Assembly, there's also been a lot of laughs. The respected institution has generated plenty of comedy in 2012, some by accident, and others on purpose.

The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.  It has survived both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and counts presidents among its alumni.

It makes you wonder what has happened in 2012.

You've seen the late night jabs taken at Virginia's expense.

"I love transvaginal. It's my favorite airline," said Amy Poehler on NBC's Saturday Night Live referring to the heated debate over Virginia requiring ultrasounds before abortions.

But as groups like Saturday Night Live use the Commonwealth as a comedic punching bag, members of the General Assembly have decided to make jokes of their own.

"The boys in bed, wife's here," said Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax) from the House floor. "TV check."

Late last week, Albo regaled his colleagues with a story of romancing his wife. It was something that was interrupted by the national coverage of the Virginia legislature.

"The gentleman from Alexandria's face as big as my wall going 'trans-ve buh bu buh," he said in reference to fellow Del. Dave Englin (D-Alexandria)

Note, the use of the word "gentleman".

Then today, Del. Scott Surovell, a Democrat from Northern Virginia, stepped to the microphone to debate against the "castle" doctrine which would allow someone to use deadly force to protect their home.

"I'm a delegate running for office," he said talking about walking door to door during his campaign. Another unidentified member of the House yelled,  "SHOOT HIM!"

The back-and-forth led to hearty laughs from both Republicans and Democrats.

Both these videos are YouTube sensations. The Albo ultrasound joke has already garnered 216,000 views. It was posted on national web sites like The Huffington Post and MSNBC.

In many cases, the reaction from constituents is not a laugh.

On my Facebook page, one commentator called it "elementary school humor", another hoped that they "enjoy these jokes as much come election time."

Videos on the Internet, which last forever, and could, pop up again down the road.

You can see the entire uncut video of both moments on the House Floor on Decision Virginia.

And we want to know what you think, go the NBC12 Facebook page to give us your take.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.