Wolf ‘Wouldn’t Change a Word,’ The Hill Changes Its Dinner Plans
There’s gonna be a little more elbow room at next year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, thanks to comedian Michelle Wolf. The Hill announced Tuesday it’s skipping next year’s event in the wake of Wolf’s high-pitched vicious and vulgar routine.
Said Hill chairman James A. Finkelstein in a letter to the White House Correspondents Association:
The kind of jokes told by this year’s headliner, Michelle Wolf, were out of line for an event that’s supposed to be fun — and fair. Based on what Americans witnessed on national television at Saturday night’s dinner, a once-fine evening celebrating the strong, free press the WHCA speaks of has turned into an angry display and ad-hominem attacks.
“And besides that, the entree tasted like rubber.” (No, he didn’t really say that.)
The Hill is the first major media outlet to bail on the dinner thanks to the WHCA’s bone-headed decision to hire an obscene partisan as its entertainment; an event ironically that was supposed to be focused on unity. An additional irony? Ever watch The Hill‘s Twitter feed? It’s no more “fair” than Wolf’s hair is straight. And why so quick to bail when the WHCA is being apologetic? It’s not like they gave Wolf a multi-year contract. Tomorrow they can say, “Sorry. Our bad. Next year we’re bringing in Yanni. And taking Jimmy Kimmel up on his suggestion we hire a juggler.”
Whoever it is, you can bet the entertainment will be so clean you could eat off of it.
Say, maybe The Hill‘s table can go to The Stream.
Wolf Defends Her Performance
Meanwhile, Michelle Wolf is defending her performance. In fact, she told NPR “I wouldn’t change a single word I said. I am very happy with what I said and I’m glad I stuck to my guns.” First off, this would make her the first performer in history who didn’t second-guess something they’d done on stage. Caruso probably hit the dressing room thinking, “I should have held that high C a couple counts longer.”
Second, what “guns”? Perhaps squirt guns loaded with acid and bile.
Let’s parse what else Wolf said: “I knew what I was doing going in. I wanted to do something different.”
Different? Where’s she been? Being vulgar and nasty is old hat at this point. Her spiel was as surprising and different as a knock-knock joke. One of my tasks at All Comedy Radio was to listen to comedy CDs to find and edit stand-up cuts. I also had to go to comedy shows. Sanitation workers wade through less filth.
“I didn’t want to cater to the room … ”
Translation: “To h*** with the people who are paying me and those here enjoying the dinner. It’s about me.”
“I wanted to cater to the outside audience … ”
What outside audience? A few late night hosts so they’ll let you in the club? The Trump-haters who get off on attacks on conservative women? Sure, you may have added a few of those people. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers are all cheering. So is former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. Making abortion a laughing matter is good for her business.
But how many C-SPAN watchers and people of decency did you turn off? Who are writing you off? How many were left with a first impression of a mean-spirited, sick L-O-S-E-R? This was a huge opportunity. It’s sad you think you did yourself a favor.
“… and not betray my brand of comedy.”
Cigarettes come in brands too. In the end they destroy you from the inside.
Wolf also says a friend who helped write her monologue gave her a note: “Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground.”
Mission accomplished. Judging from the calls even within the journalism community to do away with the dinner — do away with a Washington tradition nearly a century old — Michelle Wolf may well have burned the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to the ground.
Too bad, too. I was really looking forward to Yanni and the juggler.
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream and former VP/Content Director of All Comedy Radio. He’s also co-author with John Zmirak of the soon-to-be-released book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. It’s out May 21, but available now for pre-order.