Comedian Michelle Wolf made waves last year when she roasted the Trump administration during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is an annual tradition — part dinner, and part roast. It’s organized by the association of journalists who report on the White House (the White House Correspondents’ Association). And part of that tradition includes comedy. This year, though, the comedy seems to be over.
Since the 1980s, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has included a performance by a professional comedian. The comedian’s job, traditionally, was to make fun of the president. (The comic might also take shots at administration officials and members of Congress.) The president was expected to sit through the roast with a smile on his face, like a good sport. Then at the end of the comedian’s act, the president got to take a turn at the microphone, and that’s when he got to roast the journalists right back. But in recent years, President Trump has boycotted the entire event — which has changed the whole feeling of the dinner. Last year, when Wolf performed, Trump sent White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to the event in his place. Some say that Wolf got out of hand — which may be why there’s been a major change to the event this year.
This Year, Correspondents Are Bypassing Comedy & Holding a Talk About the First Amendment
The WHCA dinner seems to be undergoing a major identity crisis. This year, for the first time in decades, there won’t be any comedian at the event. Instead, the White House Correspondents’ Association has asked author and historian Rob Chernow speak about the First Amendment.
That’s why Michelle Wolf is calling the White House reporters out. Wolf says that the WHCA is being cowardly and is “complicit” with the Trump administration. And she seems to believe that the WHCA isn’t hiring a comedian this year because there was such spectacular push-back after her performance last year; the WHCA doesn’t want to risk another high-profile fight with the Trump administration. “The @whca are cowards. The media is complicit. And I couldn’t be prouder,” Wolf tweeted on Monday.
Wolf’s Performance Last Year Made Some People Very Angry
Wolf started out last year’s act by saying, “like a porn star says when she’s getting ready to f*uck Trump, let’s get this over with.” She continued her act by taking jabs at Republican figures like Roy Moore as well as, of course, jabbing at Donald Trump and Mike Pence. You can read the transcript of her full act here.
Wolf raised a lot of eyebrows with her raunchy language, and she seemed to realize that even while she was on stage; the comedian said to the crowd, “you should have done your research before you hired me!”
But Wolf really upset people when she poked fun at the appearance of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Wolf said, “I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. She burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.” Wolf also raised eyebrows with her shot at Kellyanne Conway: “It’s like that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I’m not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck. Stuck under a tree. Incidentally, a tree falls in the woods is Scott Pruitt’s definition of porn. We all have our kinks.”