Funniest Fed: FAA Engineer Soars to the Top
What was running through Freddi Vernell's head as she waited for the results of the Funniest Fed Competition on June 22 at the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse?
"That I needed a pedicure," says the 27-year-old Federal Aviation Administration engineer, on the phone while vacationing last week on North Carolina's Outer Banks. "I honestly was like, 'My toes need to be done.' "
In front of a packed house, Vernell (pictured) won both the audience and judges' votes, besting finalists Jeff Maurer (a close second) of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Justice Department's Sam Beamon, the Treasury Department's Joey Maranto and Jimmy Vickers of the General Services Administration.
After a successful first run of Funniest Fed, will producer Naomi Johnson speculate on next year? "I've gotten so many questions about it," Johnson says. "I'm hoping to do it again, but I don't know when it's going to be. I've had requests to expand eligibility to retired feds and to veterans. Some people have said, 'I work on a federal grant, can I participate?' That might be expanding it too far."
-- Dan Zak