Michelle Wolf was admittedly relieved when she found out President Donald Trump would once again be skipping the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year.
“The first thing I thought when I heard that he wasn’t going was, ‘Oh, thank god I don’t have to hear Trump eat,’” the comedian and host of this year’s event told Jimmy Kimmel earlier this month. More recently, she called Trump “cowardly” for holding a rally in Washington, Michigan, instead, adding, “The only other person that didn’t go was Reagan when he was shot. And he called in.”
Instead, Wolf was stuck on the dais with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. As she recently joked to The Daily Beast, “I’m just excited Sarah finally gets to go to prom.”
A rising star of the stand-up comedy scene, the former Daily Show contributor is about to launch her own weekly talk show called The Break on Netflix beginning May 27. And her speech to the room of D.C. journalists and their celebrity guests Saturday night proved that she is not afraid to offend the most powerful people in the country.
“Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, let’s get this over with,” Wolf began when she finally took the podium Saturday night. “Just a reminder to everyone: I’m here to make jokes. I have no agenda. I’m not trying to get anything accomplished, so everyone that’s here from Congress, you should feel right at home.”
The comedian explained that she wanted to try making fun of Trump in a new way. She decided not to focus on collusion with Russia, but did say, “It is kind of crazy the Trump campaign was in contact with Russia when the Hillary campaign wasn’t even in contact with Michigan.” Instead, she told the 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,” Wolf said. “Trump is the only person that still watches Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and thinks ‘me.’ Although I’m not sure you would get very far. He would get to like the third question and be like, ‘I have to phone a Fox and Friend.”
From there, she went into a call-and-response segment of “Trump’s so broke.” “How broke is he?” in which only a fraction of the audience in attendance seemed willing to participate. The final punchline to that bit? “He had to borrow money from the Russians and now he’s compromised and susceptible to blackmail and possibly responsible for the collapse of the republic!
“Trump is racist, though,” she continued. “He 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.”
Wolf may not have gotten to make jokes to Trump’s face, but she did seem to enjoy roasting administration figures in the room like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who did not seem amused when the camera cut to them.
“Kellyanne Conway has the perfect last name for what she does: Conway,” she said. “It’s like if my name was Michelle Jokes Frizzy Hair Small Tits. You guys have to stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. 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.”
Wolf said Ivanka Trump has “done nothing to satisfy women,” adding, “so I guess like father like daughter.”
And then there was Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “I have to say I’m a little star-struck,” she said. “I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale.” With Sanders just a few feet away on the dais, Wolf praised the press secretary’s resourcefulness. “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye,” she said. “Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”
As is customary at these events, Wolf also told some jokes about the major news networks in the room, including Fox News. “So you know what that means, ladies, cover your drinks,” she said. “Seriously. People want me to make fun of Sean Hannity tonight, but I could not do that. This dinner is for journalists.” On the recently engaged hosts of Morning Joe, she added, “Congratulations, you guys, it’s like when a #MeToo works out.”
Wolf ended her speech with yet another “How broke is he?” joke about Trump. “He grabs pussies because he thinks there might be loose change in them,” she said, before signing off. “Like an immigrant who was brought here by his parents and didn’t do anything wrong, I’ve got to get the fuck out of here, goodnight!”