Michelle Wolf’s 11 Most Brutal Burns From the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
“Good evening. Here we are, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” comedian Michelle Wolf said as she opened her gig as this year’s event host in Washington D.C. “Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, let’s get this over with.”
“Yup, kiddos, this is who you’re getting tonight,” the former Daily Show writer continued. “I’m going to skip a lot of the normal pleasantries. We’re at a Hilton; it’s not nice. This is on C-SPAN; no one watches that. Trump is President; it’s not ideal.”
Unlike the White House Correspondents’ Dinner during the Obama Administration, which was usually a fairly chill, fun night with A-listers, Washington, D.C. elite, and the President himself in attendance, the Trump administration’s have been notably different. For one, President Trump doesn’t attend. And there’s been a shift in mood, too: The vibe of the room these past two years has also seemed a little more tense.
The annual dinner is usually full of good-natured roasts of players in the current Administration—no matter who’s in charge—but this year took the burns up to the next degree. Wolf’s jokes were sharply pointed and met at times with awkward, uncomfortable chuckles from those in attendance (although there were laughs as well). Read on for a round-up of Wolf’s 11 most brutal zingers:
On Kellyanne Conway:
“She has the perfect last name for what she does: ‘Con-way’ … You guys have got to stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. All she does is lie. If you don’t give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. 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.”
On Ivanka Trump:
“There’s also, of course, Ivanka. She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out she’s about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons. She’s done nothing to satisfy women. So, I guess like father, like daughter.”
On being a woman:
“It’s 2018, and I’m a woman, so you cannot shut me up. Unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000.”
— CNN (@CNN) April 29, 2018
On President Trump and his adminstration:
“People call Trump names all the time. And look, I could call Trump a racist or a misogynist or xenophobic or unstable or incompetent or impotent. But he’s heard all of those, and he doesn’t care. So tonight, I’m going to try to make fun of the President in a new way, in a way that I think will really get him. Mr. President: I don’t think you’re very rich. Like. I think you might be rich in Idaho, but in New York you’re doing fine.”
"Mr. President, I don't think you're very rich. Like, you might be rich in Idaho, but in New York, you're doing fine."
— CNN (@CNN) April 29, 2018
“[Trump] loves white nationalists, which is a weird term for a Nazi. Calling a Nazi a white nationalist is like calling a pedophile a ‘kid friend.’ Or Harvey Weinstein a ‘ladies’ man.’ Which isn’t really fair—he also likes plants.”
“I did have a lot of jokes about cabinet members, but I had to scrap all of those because everyone has been fired. You guys are going through cabinet members quicker than Starbucks throws out black people.”
On White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:
“And, of course, we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We’re graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say, I’m a little starstruck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale. Mike Pence, if you haven’t seen it, you would love it.”
“Every time Sarah steps up to the podium, I get excited because I’m not really sure what we’re going to get: you know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies, or divided into softball teams. ‘It’s shirts and skins, and this time, don’t be such a little b—-, Jim Acosta.'”
“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. Like, she burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 29, 2018
On Megyn Kelly:
“What would I do without Megyn Kelly? Probably be more proud of women. Megyn Kelly got paid $23 million by NBC. Then NBC didn’t let Megyn go to the Winter Olympics. Why not? She’s so white, cold, and expensive, she might as well be the Winter Olympics. And by the way, Megyn, Santa is black. The weird old guy going through your chimney was Bill O’Reilly.”
On the media:
“You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you use to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric. But he has helped you. He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster and now you’re profiting off of him. And if you’re going to profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money because he doesn’t have any.”
The reactions to Wolf’s speech on social media were mixed no matter where viewers fell on the political spectrum, especially when it came to the jokes about Sanders. Some thought the roast got way too personal:
Lot of critics but she has always been decent and professional to me — if not entirely forthcoming (and I don't expect any press secretary to be!) https://t.co/bM6Efz2Xmf
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) April 29, 2018
Unfortunately, I don't think we advanced the cause of journalism tonight.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) April 29, 2018
Michelle Wolf — and the WHCD — really played into Trump’s hand tonight. Trump is vulgar and mean-spirited, but that doesn’t mean that Wolf needed to be the same.
— Stuart Rothenberg (@StuPolitics) April 29, 2018
Others praised her:
Also, aside from the fact Michelle Wolf is just a rock-solid standup, it is of course delightful & karmic to have a woman do the job this year.
— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) April 29, 2018
"If you want to focus on the journalism, do a boring awards show. Journalism is all about the 1st Amendment. If you don't see the import of what @michelleisawolf did tonight, then you don't get it."
~ @kathygriffin #WHCD #MichelleWolf https://t.co/gC4TmD4JO5
— Roben Farzad (@robenfarzad) April 29, 2018
Interesting to watch the bullies attacking our communities and families suddenly grow indignant and hurt over being called out at the Correspondents Dinner. Yes, words and insults can sting. Try living under this White House’s barrage of them for over a year now.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) April 29, 2018
As of Sunday morning, Wolf took to Twitter to defend her Sanders jokes:
Hey mags! All these jokes were about her despicable behavior. Sounds like you have some thoughts about her looks though? 😘 https://t.co/JRzzvhBuey
— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018
Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials. https://t.co/slII9TYdYx
— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018
And even though President Trump wasn’t there to hear the roast firsthand (again), he took to Twitter to share his own thoughts:
“While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn’t work,” Trump tweeted. “Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust…the so-called comedian really “bombed.” @greggutfeld should host next year! @PeteHegseth”
While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn’t work. Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust…the so-called comedian really “bombed.” @greggutfeld should host next year! @PeteHegseth
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2018
Watch Wolf’s monologue in its entirety below:
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