The Wild Irish Breakfast is part of Nashua’s traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and given that confession is good for the soul, perhaps Gov. Chris Sununu was onto something when he kicked off the event with a confession of his own.

Politicians aren’t funny.

“I’ve had a lot of stress as governor,” he told the sold-out crowd at the Nashua Courtyard by Marriott Friday morning, “but this is literally one of the most stressful things you can do as a politician. Because politicians aren’t funny. We tell jokes, and everyone laughs—because we’re politicians. It’s more fear in the room than anything else.”

And then Sununu’s fellow Granite State pols spent the next hour proving him right.

Paul W. McDonald. a VP at Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, was all in for the Wild Irish Breakfast on March 15, 2024.

The 33rd Wild Irish Breakfast was a fundraiser for the PLUS Company’s Adult Education & Socialization Program, and the politicians who participated were willing to grin and bear the comedic discomfort for the cause. The program helps some 400 adults with disabilities become more independent and find ways to engage in the community, including in New Hampshire workplaces.

“It gives people the opportunity to have independence they otherwise wouldn’t have,” said PLUS Company’s Donnalee Lozeau.

Two well-known Democrats running for governor, former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington, were part of the program, along with GOP gubernatorial hopeful Chuck Morse. Former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, also a GOP candidate for governor, was a no-show, a fact nearly every speaker noted.

“Kelly Ayotte didn’t even show up,” Sununu noted. “Nobody’s seen Kelly [around New Hampshire] in a while. She’s been seen less than Kate Middleton.”

The stage was set in a “talk show” format, inspiring one of the better jokes of the morning.

“I love this talk show format. I think it’s a great way to make sure that Gov. Sununu shows up every year,” said Craig.

Sununu was a frequent target of the attempted comedy. Morse began his set by acknowledging, “When you hear ‘Chuck Morse,’ you don’t think ‘funny.’ But I did manage to bring some Salem humor to this event. I brought the governor.”

Warmington targeted Sununu’s less-than-stellar track record of endorsements.

“Some of your endorsements haven’t gone so well: Chuck for Senate, Don Bolduc for Senate, and Nikki Haley for president. The really good news for Joe Biden is your endorsement of Donald Trump,” Warmington said. So to be clear, just in case you were thinking about endorsing me…

“Too late! I’m endorsing Cinde Warmington right now — you’re done, you’re toast,” Sununu interrupted.

Sununu, whom Lozeau asked to serve as “assistant blarney master,” gave at least as well as he got. The comedic highpoint of the event was when the governor played a “greatest hits” video of former President Donald Trump trashing him on the campaign trail, which concluded with Trump declaring simply: “He sucks.”

Sununu and the crowd laughed together. “Yeah, I’ll be sending that out to all the prospective employers,” Sununu said.


Sununu threw a few elbows at the federal level. He quoted President Joe Biden from his recent trip to the Granite State, saying how hard he worked not to come to New Hampshire.

“He would have to stand on stage with Joyce and Cinde so you can understand where he’s coming from. He didn’t want to be put in that position,” Sununu said, then adding, “And apparently Kelly Ayotte is out there somewhere saying the same thing.”

Sununu said the two Democratic governors-turned-U.S. Sens., Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, used to be regulars at the Wild Irish Breakfast, though they were absent on Friday.

“Hassen and Shaheen used to be able to come together, they would sit together, they would explain the jokes to each other… and then I come over and correct them — it was a whole thing,” Sununu said.

The crowd enjoyed the cameo appearance by New Hampshire-based comedian Juston McKinney, who largely avoided political material.

“I try not to do political stuff because everyone is so divided. The last political joke I did was in 2016 when it was Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And I said, ‘I don’t know who’s gonna win; I just know we’re gonna end up with an old, male pervert in the White House.”

FLASHBACK: Then-Gov. Maggie Hassan, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and former N.Y. Gov. George Pataki chat at the 2015 Wild Irish Breakfast.

He did add, however, that Trump’s success is a bit surprising given the former president’s over-the-top politics and persona.

“It’s pretty incredible. You know [former] Gov. [Paul] LePage from Maine, you know him, right? You know Trump’s a little out there when even Gov. LePage was quoted saying, ‘That guy says some crazy s***.”

Other than that, the event was largely family-friendly.

“Nothing too risque, we just try to be fun,” Lozeau told NHJournal after the event. “We raised a lot of money, so that’s what’s important.”