Following an amusing cold-open parody of Aliens featuring Sigourney Weaver (!) as Ripley delivering an inspirational speech to Samantha Bee’s disheveled Newt, the second annual Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was underway.
Presented by Full Frontal and hosted by Bee, the event, which dedicated all its proceeds to the Committee to Protect Journalists, was taped on Friday night but aired on Saturday to compete with the actual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which President Trump once again refused to attend, and whose organisers caved to the thin-skinned ex-reality show host’s demands by not having a comic this year following last year's appearance by Michelle Wolf.
“If Trump really wanted to ruin journalism, he’d put his name on it,” cracked Bee at the top of her opening monologue, before getting serious: “Thank you for holding the president—and all of us—accountable.”
In a callback to last year’s Correspondents’ Dinner, wherein White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders warped Wolf’s jokes so that she could play the victim, Bee dedicated the night’s “In Memoriam” segment to the White House press briefing, noting, “It’s been 47 days since the last briefing, which raises a very serious question: what the fuck does Sarah Huckabee Sanders do all day? Does she just lie into a mirror or… I don’t even know!”
The host was then interrupted by the night’s “humor adviser” Sarah Huckabot Sanders, a humorless robot dressed in a wig, pink football pads, and with a Southern accent. “Unacceptable! That was about my appearance! How dare you! How dare you!” the robot replied.
Bee also took a few light-hearted shots at the media, criticizing the TV news media for its inability to call things outright racist. “Let’s talk about euphemisms. If you mean ‘racist’ say ‘racist,’ not this,” offered Bee, before airing a montage of news anchors using “racially charged” and “racially insensitive” to describe overtly racist acts—like the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. “Things can be electrically charged or solar-charged or sexually charged, but racially charged isn’t a thing!” she exclaimed.
The night’s musical numbers, like Bee’s spin on My Fair Lady, didn’t really land—and neither did SNL alum Taran Killam’s parody of an awful conservative stand-up comic who punctuates his cringeworthy jokes with digital piano beats.
Better was Bee’s mini-roast of “sexual assaulter” Trump.
“There are so many things you could say about the president: that he’s vicious, vindictive, stupid, unattractive, unloved, and will die alone, but what can we say that Melania hasn’t already said?” cracked Bee. “So tonight, I really want to focus on what a fucking coward he is. Imagine being the most powerful man in the world and you can’t listen to a comedian razz you for five minutes? Barack Obama did it, George W. Bush did it. You know who else has been roasted? Justin fucking Bieber. Justin Bieber is braver than you and he’s a man who once let a monkey go to jail for him. And I know you technically had a Comedy Central Roast too, but that was Apprentice Donald Trump, not President Donald Trump. That’s like roasting Hitler for his use of watercolors.”
Bee then gave a list of people braver than Trump, including Christine Blasey Ford, the 23 women who accused him of sexual assault or harassment, and the undocumented immigrants who worked at Mar-a-Lago and spoke out about it.
But she reserved her toughest jokes for Huckabee Sanders. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ looks are the best thing about her,” said Bee. “She has shiny hair, pretty eyes, and a lovely complexion. But on the inside? Hideous as a pinworm in an anus. On the inside? That woman is 90 percent taint, and I mean that medically.”
Finally, Bee welcomed Trump nemesis Robert De Niro onstage for a final dig at the president: “I’m happy to stand with Samantha Bee tonight to support the First Amendment—the right of the president to be a relentless and unrepentant lying scumbag, the right of his supporters to not give a shit, and our right to do something about it.”