CNN's Brian Lowry reported Comedy Central "fake news" anchor Larry Wilmore drew "groans and grimaces" on Saturday night with a typical White House Correspondents Dinner routine that leaned heavily to the left. He suggested Fox News was racist: “Welcome to Negro Night here in Washington. Or as Fox News will report, ‘Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in DC.'”
Wilmore ended his set by thanking Obama for having been the country’s first black President. “When I was a kid people couldn’t be a black quarterback. A black man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team and now to live in your time, when a black man can lead the entire free world,” Wilmore began. “I’m going to keep it 100: Yo, Barry. You did it, my n*gga!”
Lowry found that Wilmore lacked the “nuance” of Stephen Colbert, which now Wilmore can joke is more racism:
Yet while some of those jokes were funnier than the response in the room might have indicated, the silence and occasional groans seemed to knock the comic off his stride. "You guys are tough, man," Wilmore muttered at one point, acknowledging the tepid response.
Notably, Colbert's lacerating satire a decade ago was met in much the same way. Yet there was a level of nuance there that was largely absent here, and that completely disappeared in by far the worst section of the routine, which involved a series of one-liners about presidential candidate Ted Cruz being the zodiac killer. If once was mildly amusing in its sheer absurdity, the novelty quickly wore off through repetition.
The jokes included:
— “Man, everybody hates Ted Cruz. Even O.J. Simpson said, ‘That guy is just hard to like.'”
— “There’s a joke going around the Internet that Ted Cruz is actually the Zodiac Killer. I’m not making that up. Come on, that is absurd. Some people actually liked the Zodiac Killer.”
— “John Boehner came out of retirement and described Ted Cruz as Lucifer in the flesh. Lucifer. I mean that is not fair, man. Lucifer is horrible — but he’s not the Zodiac Killer.”
Wilmore was rough on CNN, even drawing a middle finger from Don Lemon: “Some of America’s finest black journalists are here tonight. Don Lemon’s here, too.” There were also these jokes:
— “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.”
— “CNN’s here tonight. I have not watched CNN for a long time. I used to watch it back when it was a news network. I don’t know about you guys, but I cannot get enough of that CNN countdown clock. Now we can see exactly when they hit zero in the ratings.”
None of these remarks made CNN's list of the "most memorable" jokes....as if any of these were very memorable or original.
MSNBC came under attack -- from the Left:
— “MSNBC is here tonight. Yep, which actually now stands for ‘Missing a Significant Number of Black Correspondents’. . . MSNBC got rid of so many black people, I thought Boko Haram was running that network.”
— "Trump's family is always gushing over him. Or as it's called, Morning Joe...Morning Joe has its head so up Trump’s ass they bumped into Chris Christie.”
Naturally, that joke made CNN's most memorable list.
Wilmore might not get great reviews from the newspapers. "Who are you killing tonight?” Wilmore asked Obama, noting that the night of a previous correspondents' dinner, Obama’s team had been secretly preparing the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden. “It’s can’t be print journalists because that industry has been dead for a while.” When the room reacted with silence, Wilmore said he wanted to give a “shout out” to print journalism – "seriously I have to shout, because they’re all over 70.”
Wilmore's wisecracks at the politicans all came from the MoveOn Left:
— “I just got a note from the president saying that if you want another drink you should order it now because the bar will be closing down. Of course, he said the same thing about Guantanamo so you have at least another eight years.”
“I saw you hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. That was cool. You know, it kind of makes sense too, because both of you like raining down bombs on people from long distances.”
The Clintons were just personally insulted:
— “I have to say about the first lady, it is 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.”
— “Bernie got in trouble for saying Hillary Clinton was unqualified. She is extremely qualified. In fact, when you factor in all of her policy flip-flops, she is at least several of the most qualified candidates ever to run for president.”
This has to be The Absolutely Lamest joke of the evening, about Bernie Sanders: “The senator recently had a hernia operation. His doctor said it’s his own fault for trying to lift the hopes of the disenfranchised.”