Who’d have guessed that Andre Agassi is a champion at the sport of the after-dinner speech, too?
The tennis legend unexpectedly lit up the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America’s annual dinner Tuesday night during the late-hour awards segment when so many galas find themselves bogged down in earnestness. Taking the stage at the downtown Ritz-Carlton after a performance by Eastern High School’s youth choir, Agassi praised the young singers.
“Kind of makes me want to fly home and slap my kids,” he deadpanned. “What have they done with their lives?” As the surprised laughter caught up with him, he coyly moved on: “Sorry, not on script here.”
Twinkly-eyed and dapper in a dark suit, Agassi deftly toed the line between sincere and sassy. Citing his own experience running an education foundation, he commended the hosts for “how targeted and focused and involved you are in these communities.” So often, he said, foundations are “tempted to go entirely horizontal. . . and you lose the depth and connection.” CADCA hasn’t, he said: “Well done on pulling that [expletive] off!”
He drew another big laugh teasing the dinner’s equally sassy emcee, former Rep. Mary Bono, who had recalled meeting him at a charity match in Vegas years ago. “Mary, I remember you from that game,” he said. “I was shocked by how much you were staring at Stefan Edberg’s ass.”