May 1, 2016

I don't think the White House Correspondents Dinner people enjoyed Larry Wilmore very much.



Everyone looks so uncomfortable. Which is a good thing, right? Why should he make these people comfortable? Here's the transcript. I'll try to excerpt what I think this crowd may have disliked the most:
And I have to admit it’s not easy to follow the president, man. You got some jokes. Mr. President. The president’s funny. Stay in your lane, man. You don’t seem me going around president-ing all the time, right? I don’t go around passing health care, and signing executive orders, pardoning turkeys … not closing Guantanamo. Oh wait, maybe I did do that.

But I have to say, it’s great, it looks like you’re really enjoying your last year of the presidency. Saw you hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. That was cool. That was cool, yeah. You know it kinda makes sense, too, because both of you like raining down bombs on people from long distances, right? What? Am I wrong?

Speaking of drones, how is Wolf Blitzer still on television? Ask a follow-up question. Hey, Wolf, I’m ready to project tonight’s winner: Anyone that isn’t watching “The Situation Room.”...

But I have to say, about the first lady, it’s so nice to have dinner with you. She is the epitome of grace, class and poise, isn’t she? She really is. Not to be confused with future first gentleman Bill Clinton, whose three favorite strippers are named Grace, Class and Poise....

I’m impressed with the people in this room. There are so many rich, powerful people in this room. You know, it’s nice to finally match the names to the faces in the Panama Papers. It’s very nice....
MSNBC — MSNBC here tonight? No? Which actually now stands for “Missing a Significant Number of Black Correspondents.” Am I wrong? They like fired Melissa Harris-Perry, they canceled Joy Reid, they booted TourĂ©. I heard they put Chris Hayes on probation because they thought he was related to Isaac Hayes.... MSNBC got rid of so many black people I thought Boko Haram was running that network. What was going on…?

You know, I should say some of America’s finest black journalists are here tonight. Don Lemon’s here, too. Hey, Don, how’s it going? Alleged journalist Don Lemon, everybody.
The camera shows Don Lemon giving him the finger. 

I'll bet the audience was expecting more and harsher focus on Donald Trump. There was a reference to "his genitalia" — which took a shot at a Democrat (calling it "his President Johnson") —  to his "little baby hands" — the reason "everyone treats Donald Trump with kid gloves" — and an attack on "Morning Joe" for giving him so much favorable TV time — "Morning Joe: has their head so far up Trump’s ass they bumped into Chris Christie." But Wilmore delivered more pain to Democrats — politicians and the press.

There were also the transgressive racial words, from the beginning middle and end of the speech: 1. "negro" ("Well, welcome to 'Negro Night' here at the Washington Hilton, or as Fox News will report, 'Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.'"), 2. "jigaboo" ("Ben Carson... praised Jackson... From the grave, Andrew Jackson replied, 'What did that jigaboo say?'"), and 3. "nigga" ("So, Mr. President, if I’m going to keep it 100: Yo, Barry, you did it, my nigga. You did it.").

Obama did a great job of laughing and looking like he had a sense of humor about everything. Why shouldn't he? He had his speech too, and it was already done and — probably most people would say — funnier and better delivered. Check it out:

65 comments:

tim in vermont said...

They thought they were getting Wanda Sikes and instead the got some honest comedy in the truest spirit of the court jester.

My God there were a lot of funny lines squeezed into that excerpt. I am sorry now I missed it, almost.

tim in vermont said...

He's like Ricky Gervais at the Oscars. "Oh, you didn't want me to be me! You wanted me to turn my brain off for this gig in return for the check and the honor?" - me imagining what Ricky was thinking afterwards.

It is fun to see them squirm too, laugh out loud funny.

DavidD said...

Finally.

Seven years into this administration and we have a comedian who's not afraid to criticize the Lightbringer.

rhhardin said...

Awful performance. There's so much good material available and he does not-lefty-enough jokes to offend lefties.

Amexpat said...

I watched the whole thing and Wilmore wasn't very good. Some of the jokes were OK, but his delivery was off. And that whole bit about Ted Cruz and the Zodiac killer didn't work. Some "black" related jokes were expected and suitable for the occasion but he did so many that they lost whatever bite they would have had.

Obama, on the other hand, was very good. His delivery was excellent. The jokes hit their marks and covered everyone, including himself. The bit with him and Boehner was good - things might have worked out better if they had that type of rapport.

tim in vermont said...

See, that's why I read Althouse. I am too ADHD to sit though the whole thing, and she brings us the best bits.

Amexpat said...

The video at CSPAN is better than the White House site that Althouse links to as it shows audience reaction and the video segments that were used instead of focusing on the the President watching a video. Lnk here:
http://www.c-span.org/video/?407237-103/2016-white-house-correspondents-dinner

SayAahh said...

The best president ever. At reading from a teleprompter.

Hagar said...

Washington does not have much class anymore.

Will Cate said...

I haven't seen anybody bomb like that at the Correspondents' Dinner since Don Imus, back in the 90s.

Ron said...

If Trump runs this soiree next year....everyone will be getting Trump Steaks!

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Ha! The "I-don't-no-wait-I-do" bit still works for me.

The first time I heard it was many years ago from some hip hop guy on the Conan O'Brien show.

It's still a black thing, apparently.

Chuck said...

I agree that Barack Obama was better -- better timing, better material, lighter delivery -- than Larry Wilmore. But that is such a low bar. The left-wing Comedy Channel lineup is so deadly dull.

The number of jokes about a Donald Trump presidency made me think about what excitement there might be, if Trump were actually there as president/lightning rod. But how weird it would be, to expect Trump to deliver scripted jokes in that way. I don't think he could do it. He might throw out a whole bunch of incredibly off-color observations, and it would be yet another white-knuckle Trump experience; waiting for some shocking crackup.

btw; this is one of the things (among many; more than anyone seems to know) that is so much better on C-SPAN. C-SPAN has this event's coverage down to an art. They have open mics everywhere, and so many cameras, that a viewer feels sort of like being there. No commentary to speak of. Just cameras and mics.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

President Obama is a better comedian than his comedian.

PB said...

Obama is a great actor. He can read a speech and deliver a line. Evidence of his acting skills is his "appreciation" of Wilmore.

Democrats aren't used to being laughed at, particularly when the humor is so close to the truth.

veni vidi vici said...

"President Obama is a better comedian than his comedian."

...as he likely told everyone beforehand.

M Jordan said...

I simply can't watch Obama being funny. I know he's good at it. I know it isn't easy (done a lot of quasi standup in my 35 teaching). Unlike his athletic skills which the press used gush over, I know his comedic skills are legit.

But I can't watch him. The smugness is unbearable to me. I doubt that I alone in this feeling. He has wrought a kind of revulsion in half of America through 8 years of condescension. He can't undo that with a few jokes which, I will bet simply double down on that condescension.

Michael K said...

Black Lives Matter in DC.

End of story.

AprilApple said...

I like the lady in the audience with her breasts hanging out. Like she thinks she's at the Oscars.

AprilApple said...

Wolf Blitzer doesn't ask follow up questions.

hehehehe perfect.

AprilApple said...

Why would D-press ever want to ask a precious D-pol a follow up question? Precious D-pol have their regurgitated talking points ready... that's all the propaganda necessary, right Wolf/hack D press?

Bob Ellison said...

I made it through ten minutes of Obama's speech. The delivery was good, but the lines were not funny.

Martha said...

Obama's delivery was smug. And very slow. Morning Joe loves mocking Cruz for his stilted halting speech pattern. Well, Obama spaced his words pretty far apart too.

I thought a lot of the comedy was unnecessarily cruel—more tolerable from a comedian than from a President IMHO.
When the President mocks, he is punching down and that is not fun to watch.

Fernandinande said...

Yo, Barry, you did it, my nigger.

These race-obsessed niggers are just embarrassing.

AReasonableMan said...

M Jordan said...
He has wrought a kind of revulsion in half of America


Based on Boehner's participation, not quite as much revulsion as Ted Cruz.

traditionalguy said...

Political correctness is not for the lawless black man. That is nothing new.

But it was boring, really boring.

Fernandinande said...

Fernandinande said...
These race-obsessed niggers are just embarrassing.


Not "race-obsessed" since they don't give a shit about any other race or any racial issue which doesn't revolve around blacks; shoulda said "self-obsessed" or "nigger-obsessed".

Derek Kite said...

Wow, they should have served stewed prunes for that crowd. I got the impression that they didn't dare laugh in case someone was watching.

chickelit said...

Not to worry. Hillary has lots of experience dealing with men who wander off like that in the way they speak and the way they behave.

Next year's event will be canceled.

Johnathan Birks said...

I get it. I can say "mick" and "kraut" and even "blanket ass" with impunity because of my ethnic heritage. That whole in-group N-word exemption thing. My question is: Who dafuq is Larry Willmore, where did he come from and can he please go back ASAP? Dude was bombing up there.

Chuck said...

Johnathan;

Today on Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams was brutal in his criticism of Wilmore. Saying that Wilmore on the one hand praised the historic significance of a black president, then turning around to make cheap use of the n-word.

So maybe the word-immunity isn't worth so much.

Speaking of humor; not one of the lefty fake-newsmen -- "Stewart," Colbert, Noah, Wilmore -- is as funny as was the original Daily Show host. Craig Kilborn.

Quaestor said...

The first thing President Trump should do come January — after jailing Hillary over the mail server catastrophe and releasing Obama's transcripts — is to end this White House correspondent's dinner crap, the jokes aren't funny and the guests aren't nearly as interesting as they think they are. There's too much long overdue repair work to be done to give even a fleeting thought to such frivolity.

David said...

Ho Ho..

Where are the terrorists when you need them?

(Was that funny?)

mikee said...

That presidents attend and participate in these annual events is a shame.

rhhardin said...

I like the lady in the audience with her breasts hanging out. Like she thinks she's at the Oscars.

It's competitive breasting.

Chuck said...

Quaestor;

One of the several genuinely funny lines from President Obama was this one:

"...for four months now, congressional Republicans have been saying there are things I cannot do in my final year. Unfortunately, this dinner was not one of them."

William said...

It's not that the jokes were clumsy or hostile. It's that they weren't funny. The prime duty of a comedian is to first say something funny. There's nothing more painful to watch than a comedian who is in the process of bombing. To add an extra level of awkwardness, there's the fact that he's black so you have to be very cautious and nuanced in your non-appreciation of his material.

tim maguire said...

Obama has always been a competent reader of other people's words. And of course the bootlickers never point out that his humor is meanspirited, always at the expense of others, never himself. He shows no capacity for reflection or self-knowledge.

Chuck said...

tim maguire said...
Obama has always been a competent reader of other people's words. And of course the bootlickers never point out that his humor is meanspirited, always at the expense of others, never himself. He shows no capacity for reflection or self-knowledge.


You sound like someone who didn't see the address, or read the transcript. I carry absolutely no brief for Obama policies, but how can you say that Obama's jokes are NEVER at his own expense, after his bit on the series of photos about how he has aged and Michelle has not? It's a minor point but I am being quite serious. Quickly, now; did you see the speech or not?

Yancey Ward said...

Self-deprecating humor is a fine and difficult art- one Obama really hasn't mastered well, and I strongly suspect there are two reasons behind this, Chuck- first, the man really does have a hard time truly making fun of himself, and secondly, it is almost a dead certainty that he doesn't write the jokes himself, and the people who do simply are afraid of truly roasting him.

My impression of these gatherings' speakers over the years is that they are for the express purpose of roasting the audience and the speakers themselves. It really is off-topic to roast people who aren't actually there. In that regard, I thought Wilmore was actually the more successful of the two, even though Obama actually had the better thought out material.

tim maguire said...

Chuck, I've seen plenty of Obama's speeches, including the supposedly jokey ones. If the best you can come up with is his hair is graying, then I don't need to view it, you've inadvertantly conceded my point.

chickelit said...

AprilApple noted...I like the lady in the audience with her breasts hanging out. Like she thinks she's at the Oscars.

It really has become show business for ugly people.

walter said...

“In my final year my approval ratings keep going up. The last time I was this high, I was trying to decide on my major.”

Reunite the Choom gang!

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

If the principal duties of the national government are to maintain secure borders and mint sound currency, I do not see how the White House Correspondence Dinner advances either.

Hyphenated American said...

I am surprised Obama did not joke about the failure of his foreign policy, the slowest recovery in generations, and the falling apart of obanacare. Weird. And how about that IRS illegally targeting conservative groups, and the rise of the I and he was supposed to slow down?

Chuck said...

tim - So the real answer was, "No; in fact I did not watch the Correspondents' Dinner last night. What did I miss?"

I am not sure if it really was the show-stopper that some have suggested, but the bit with Obama being offered cigarettes by Boehner was another bit of humor built on Obama's self-effacement.

But now that I have made my point, I have another question for you, tim from Vermont. It is this; when was the last time that The Donald ever engaged in any self-effacing humor? Has there ever been a-n-y-o-n-e in American politics who had less humility, less self-awareness, and less humor than Donald Trump? He's largely proven himself, in one media dustup after another, that he might be the most prissy, paranoid, self-absorbed freak in American public life.

There's the "short-fingered vulgarian obsession." There are all of the libel lawsuits and the threatened lawsuits. There are the Twitter wars with people known and unknown all across the world. There are the narcissistic declarations in every manner of communication, from Twitter, to press conferences, to interviews. The guy is a laughable freak.

Obama, by comparison, is a regular guy.

cubanbob said...

Obama wasn't bad at stand up comedy. Too bad he missed his true calling in life and went into politics instead.

Char Char Binks said...

But seriously, folks...

Rusty said...

Chuck said...
tim - So the real answer was, "No; in fact I did not watch the Correspondents' Dinner last night. What did I miss?"

I am not sure if it really was the show-stopper that some have suggested, but the bit with Obama being offered cigarettes by Boehner was another bit of humor built on Obama's self-effacement.

But now that I have made my point, I have another question for you, tim from Vermont. It is this; when was the last time that The Donald ever engaged in any self-effacing humor? Has there ever been a-n-y-o-n-e in American politics who had less humility, less self-awareness, and less humor than Donald Trump? He's largely proven himself, in one media dustup after another, that he might be the most prissy, paranoid, self-absorbed freak in American public life.

There's the "short-fingered vulgarian obsession." There are all of the libel lawsuits and the threatened lawsuits. There are the Twitter wars with people known and unknown all across the world. There are the narcissistic declarations in every manner of communication, from Twitter, to press conferences, to interviews. The guy is a laughable freak.

Obama, by comparison, is a regular guy.


I want some of what you're having. Just not as much as you've had.

walter said...

When I saw Trump near Wausau, WI..he actually did exhibit a bit of humility. He had a moment where he challenged some kids to avoid drugs and as a sort of aside said "That may be the most important thing I say today".
He comes off much better when he's talking off the cuff and controlling the situation.
But when fielding substantive questions, his seeming inability to stick to relevant thought is very concerning. Maybe he's just spinning thugs back to his canned talking points and/or redirecting.
It's so prominent and obvious, I honestly wonder if he just can't stick with a topic long enough to answer in a remotely sensible manner.
His son Eric isn't as bad but does similar.

walter said...

(see that WAPO interview for prime example)

Robert Cook said...

"I haven't seen anybody bomb like that at the Correspondents' Dinner since Don Imus, back in the 90s."

What about Steven Colbert? He got quite the frosty reception. A poor reception from the tumescent-with-self-regard Washington Press Corps should be seen as a badge of honor...these overpaid hacks really think of themselves as speakers-of-truth-to-power, when they're actually boot-licking, favor-currying, transcribers-of-conventional-wisdom-and-propaganda, and they don't much like it to hear the bitter truth spoken to their faces.

Gahrie said...

Why am I not surprised that the lackey of the Republican Establishment prefers a Democrat to a Republican?

tim in vermont said...

Chuck, Have I ever said that I am a Trump guy? I am not. But, OTOH, he doesn't live in my head rent-free the way he does yours. The most I have ever said is that I would vote for him over Hillary and that I can understand why people who feel shit upon by this country support Trump and Sanders. You seem to think that they should just shut up and stop whining about being shit on.

What Trump has revealed is the ugly underbelly of the US polity. That ugly underbelly is rampant and self righteous elitism from both sides. Every time somebody calls Trump "white trash" or "low class" as has been done on this blog, or calls his supporters "losers," another favorite, I have to ask if losers have a right to a voice in American politics, or should they just "quit whining and take it like men"? Trump is giving the "poorly educated" a voice while so many in a party supposedly dedicated to the downtrodden, ridicule them. The Republican Party has had a lot of success taking concerns of the ostracized and otherized 'murcans seriously. Now the "intellectual elite" of the Republican Party wants to throw that away.

Are you going to vote for Hillary over Trump? I just want to know how deep your "concern" for the Party as a "life-long Republican" goes. We all know that Republicans watch collections of Democrats like the Correspondent's Dinner, with rapt attention. (Hint: That was irony.)

tim in vermont said...

'Why am I not surprised that the lackey of the Republican Establishment prefers a Democrat to a Republican?'

I seriously doubt he is a Republican. I have yet to see the slightest evidence of it "between the lines" He claims to be one, but where is the first comment he has ever made that says "yes, he thinks like a conservative"?

tim in vermont said...

Trying to get him to give us the case against Hillary, which, as a "life-long Republican" should be a simple matter, is like trying to get a narc to take a toke. I can only assume that that is because he is in the pay of the Democrats, who are wasting their money, BTW.

tim in vermont said...

One more thing, there aren't that many "life-long" Republicans, we were almost all Democrats when young and addle-headed and fresh out of public schools run by Democrat teacher's union members.

rehajm said...

This is nothing a couple of daisy cutters can't fix.

Chuck said...

It is a mark of the fear and ignorance of the Trump-supporting and Trump-tolerant crowd, that any Republican who criticizes Trump, is thought to be a Hillary sympathizer and/or a secret Democrat.

Jonah Goldberg of the National Review; the guy whose mother took a certain phone call from Linda Tripp, and who authored the book "Liberal Facsism" and who has basically never written a kind word about Hillary Clinton, is lately getting the same kinds of attacks himself.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434776/donald-trump-nevertrump-election-loss

And btw; as far as my student days go, as a columnist for my high school newspaper, I was writing pro-Republican opinion pieces, and as an undergraduate I worked for a Tory in the British Parliament who became Mrs. Thatcher's Parliamentary Private Secretary. Before he was assassinated by the IRA.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

The attendees watching Obama thump his chest proudly in response to “Yo, Barry, you did it, my nigga!." Are many of the same people who claim Trump is too crude to be President.

Robert Cook said...

"One more thing, there aren't that many "life-long" Republicans, we were almost all Democrats when young and addle-headed and fresh out of public schools run by Democrat teacher's union members."

I was raised in a Republican family and registered as a Republican at age 18. I voted for Ford in 1976 and for Reagan in 1980.

Then I got out into the world and discovered it wasn't so black and white or simple as conservative cant would have it. Over time, my received wisdom could not sustain the assault of reality in the world around me and my views moved progressively leftward. I remain confident my adult perception of the world is more accurate than had been the beliefs inculcated in me by my family.

tim in vermont said...

So still don't want to soil your chances of working for her by coming up with some criticism of Hillary then? I can see that. Hillary sort of admires Maggie I think, the way Thatcher put all of those coal miners out of work, the military adventurism. Though I think that Maggie Thatcher's judgment was much better. It makes sense now. That's all I wanted, was for you to make sense.

I can't believe that the fact that I can understand why people who a suffering in this economy, the "fearful and ignorant", make me fearful and ignorant. It is kind of an interesting thing point though, what does "fearful and ignorant" mean, anyways? It means they have reservations about your plans for the future, and given the economic impact of the plans of the elite on them, it sounds like their fears are justified. "Ignorant" in that they just don't know what you know, right? If they did, they would understand! Well there is stuff they know that you don't know, believe it or not, you have ignorance too!

I am doing just fine, and will personally be fine under Hillary, Donald, Cruz, probably even Sanders, but I grew up among these trailer trash, and they are people too who have a right to a voice in our democracy. Yes, if they weren't so "poorly educated" they would not be such "losers" but they don't need millions of Mexican scabs coming into this country to compete with for jobs either. And they want jobs, not handouts. Seriously.

What is a scab anyways but a person who will do the job others aren't willing to for the money on offer.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

The difference is that they are crossing a border instead of a picket line, it's two completely different things.

damikesc said...


I am doing just fine, and will personally be fine under Hillary, Donald, Cruz, probably even Sanders, but I grew up among these trailer trash, and they are people too who have a right to a voice in our democracy. Yes, if they weren't so "poorly educated" they would not be such "losers" but they don't need millions of Mexican scabs coming into this country to compete with for jobs either. And they want jobs, not handouts. Seriously.


Cruz's ad early in the campaign is still the single most effective and honest one this campaign.

If the immigrants were competing for Wall St or legal jobs, you'd see the border shut down.