Ernie Blomquist can take a joke.
Wearing a striped Dr. Suess hat and sitting in front of a huge screen that showed photos of him wearing leopard skin outfits and Elvis jumpsuits, he simply smiled and nodded along.
And reached for his glass of wine; it was his roast after all.
Two judges, two fellow lawyers and Arlington Heights Village President Arlene Mulder all spoke at the roast of Blomquist on Sunday at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights with former assistant Village Manager Greg Ford serving as the roastmaster. "Ernie the Attorney" has been the Arlington Heights prosecutor for more than 35 years.
He and Judge Jan Bierman go back 35 years - all the way to the Cook County state's attorney's office. Both worked at the courthouse at 26th and California in downtown Chicago. Bierman joked about Blomquist's personal golf course on top of the Arlington Heights village hall.
"When Ernie came to Arlington Heights, he got the job totally on merit," said Bierman, while showing a photo of Mulder with her arm around Blomquist, dressed as a cowboy. "Totally on merit."
Lawyers George Drost and Tom Glasgow poked fun at Blomquist's stellar reputation and "hair our former governor would envy," Drost said.
Glasgow asked Blomquist's advice before running for Arlington Heights trustee last year.
"I remember he said, 'This is Illinois; you have a Mississippi public education, you'll do fine,'" Glasgow said.
Judge John Tourtelot was an Arlington Heights police officer before he went to law school, which he did after seeking Blomquist's advice. Tourtelot referred to Blomquist as "the brother I never wanted."
"I thought if Ernie could go to law school and pass the bar, it would be a piece of cake for me," Tourtelot said.
Ford said Blomquist is a legend in Arlington Heights.
"In my opinion, Ernie is honest and professional," he said. "It's 90 percent of the attorneys out there give the good 10 percent a bad name."
Before the night ended, Blomquist got his turn and addressed each person who roasted him, including the judges.
"You know what they say, if you have half a mind to be a judge, that's all you need," said Blomquist, a Mount Prospect native who went on to Western Illinois University.
Proceeds of Sunday's event went to the Rotary clubs of Arlington Heights and the Metropolis.