Last Saturday night we had the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, which seemed to generate a little controversy because of the monologue provided by Michelle Wolf. I don’t like to judge things without seeing them, so I decided to take a look for myself. (It was broadcast on C-Spann, so very few of us saw it live, ha ha!)
Here’s my take on it:
- It definitely had an edge, and was arguably a little bit one-sided. Past correspondent’s roasts were usually distributing the jokes a little more generously around the room, including the press itself, and also both parties.
- Michelle didn’t say anything that was meaner or any more inappropriate than many of the things said by our current Commander in Chief. One could argue (as many have) that things that Trump has said things that are much worse.
- Compare to some other legendary routines, such as those of Seth Meyers or Stephen Colbert, I thought that Michelle’s routine was more uneven. There was some funny stuff, but also a lot of things that didn’t seem that funny to me. I didn’t actually get the “smoky eye” routine about Sarah Huckster Sanders, other than that she was calling her out for being a blatant and unrepentant liar (which she is).
The Correspondent’s Association has been in existence since 1914, and the dinner has been held since 1921. It didn’t really become that much of a “thing” until comedians started delivering the headline speech, which began in 1983. At that point the dinner took on more of the flavor of a roast. Some of the people who have headlined include:
- Rich Little (1984, 2007)
- Jay Leno (1987, 2000, 2004, 2010)
- Paula Poundstone (1992)
- Al Fanken (1994, 1996)
- Conan O’Brien (1995, 2013)
- Jon Stewart (1997)
- Darrell Hammond (2001)
- Drew Carey (2002)
- Stephen Colbert (2006)
- Craig Ferguson (2008)
- Wanda Sykes (2009)
- Seth Meyers (2011)
- Jimmy Kimmell (2012)
- Joel McHale (2014)
- Cecily Strong (2015)
- Larry Wilmore (2016)
- Hassan Minajh (2017)
The line-up has obviously been pretty strong in Daily Show alumni, especially in the last decade. And for the second year in a row, Trump didn’t show up.
Democrats and progressives have been somewhat amused that the Trump “fuck your feelings” crowd have been so upset by the roast that Michelle Wolf delivered to Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckster Sanders, the two Trump staffers who actually had the courage to show up. They’ve just been fulminating in apoplexy over on Fox and Friends.
It does make you wonder whether his crowd as actually heard any of the things that President Shithole has said over the last couple of years, both as a candidate and since arriving in the highest office in the land. We all thought they liked people who are not politically correct and “tell it like it is.”
Trump and his supporters poisoned the well, and now that Michelle Wolf was serving them some of their poisoned water, they were all like, oh my God, Michelle is serving us poisoned water!
No shit, Sherlocks.
Even so, I don’t disagree that at some point we’re going to have to turn over a new leaf and not serve each other poisoned cups of anything. But until the Republicans develop just a little bit of self-awareness of their towering, unmitigated hypocrisy, I don’t think we can get there.
 If you’re interested in checking out Seth Meyer’s routine, by comparison, you can check it out here. Meyers got in a lot of funny jabs at Trump, who managed to attend when he wasn’t President, but is too much of a chickenshit to attend now.
 Given that it’s an open secret that Trump decided to run in 2013 when he was roasted by Obama at that year’s event, one might think that he has some affinity for the event. Also, it does President’s the chance to deliver their own comedic performances. Obama and George W. Bush received very good reviews for some of their routines.
 Michelle had one of her best lines of the night when she said that she would have grabbed Trump to have him show up but that “Trump is the one pussy that you’re not allowed to grab.”