see also: https://xinkaishi.typepad.com/a_new_start/2008/10/boston-globe-mccain-warns-supporters-calls-obama-decent-man.html
NEW YORK: Senator John McCain announced that he had dismissed his entire team of senior advisers.
'All of their positions will now be held by a man named Joe the Plumber,' he cracked.
His rival, Senator Barack Obama, then made a confession about his past associations. He said: 'There was a point in my life when I started palling around with a pretty ugly crowd, I've got to be honest. These guys were serious deadbeats; they were low-lifes; they were unrepentant no-good punks. That's right: I've been a member of the United States Senate.'
With a pair of rivals taking time away from the fray to swop jokes, it could only be the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York, the charity roast that has long served as a lighthearted stop on the road to the White House.
It brought Mr McCain and Mr Obama together on Thursday, just one night after their third debate.
They poked fun at themselves - and each other - in consecutive monologues that had their audience in stitches.
Mr McCain also answered critics who said Joe the Plumber would not earn enough money to face any tax increase under Mr Obama's fiscal plan.
'What they don't know is that Joe the Plumber recently signed a very lucrative contract with a wealthy couple to handle all the work on all seven of their houses,' Mr McCain said, alluding to a flap he caused this summer when he was unable to remember how many homes he and his wife own.
Scanning the crowd, he said, 'Even in this room full of proud Manhattan Democrats, I can't shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for me', quickly adding, 'I'm delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary', as he nodded to Senator Hillary Clinton.
He also referred to the awkward moment in the second debate when he referred to Mr Obama as 'that one'. 'He doesn't mind at all,' Mr McCain said. 'In fact, he even has a pet name for me: George Bush.'
Said Mr Obama: 'I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth,' in a reference to Superman.
He added: 'I think it is a tribute to American democracy that...the two of us could come together, and sit down at the same dinner table.'
NEW YORK TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS