Photograph by Diane Bondareff for ServiceNation

Last month, the NY Times had a feature on Governor David Paterson's use of humor to disarm audiences. Last night, we witnessed that in action, as he regaled the audience for the ServiceNation Summit:

Thank you. I was standing on the corner of 68th Street and Lexington Avenue right here in Manhattan once. And I approached a woman and-- very elegant and I asked her to look across the street and tell me if there was a drug store on the corner. She said, "I'd be delighted," and, then, took me by arm and led me across the street to the drug store.

She was kind of surprised when I went back and stood on the corner. And she came back and asked me why I wasn't going in the drug store. And I said, "A friend of mine told me that his office is located at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue across the street from the drugstore." And this woman was aghast.

But I thanked her for taking her time out to help me and told her it doesn't really matter, I applaud your service. So thank you very much.

Yesterday, Paterson announced the creation of a cabinet position for national and community service, which elevates Susan Stern, Chair of the State Commission on National and Community Service, to his cabinet.