Another year, another White House Correspondents Dinner. The roast to end all roasts. The annual evening when the Washington intelligentsia gather in tuxes, gowns and watch the President say the same things about himself we say all year.
This one was a bit different, however. When comedian Larry Wilmore took the stage, the crowd went into complete shut-down mode. Those of you old enough to remember Rodney Dangerfield’s classic sweating and clutching of his tie, followed by “Tough crowd, tough crowd!” will appreciate that this was Larry Wilmore’s existence for 20 minutes.
And this brutal performance happened for one reason and one reason only – he dared to make fun of people who spend 24/7 proclaiming their self-importance.
This event is a veritable who’s-who of the elite press corps and their celebrity guests showing up to pat themselves on the back for how amazing they are.Essentially, it’s the Oscars for ugly people.
And in the spirit of all great and bold comedy, Wilmore took no prisoners. He called out print media for its increasing irrelevance, took potshots at all the major cable news stations, and, in a departure from previous events, spread his ammo across the political spectrum rather than solely focusing on that curious animal that lives on Trump’s head.
And after each joke about the media, the crowd gave him silent death stares as if he just made fun of the kids at St. Jude.
When the D.C. elite wonder why the rest of the country holds them in such contempt, this event was a perfect illustration. Those who can’t laugh at themselves are generally unpleasant guests to have at a party, difficult friends, and downright insufferable family members. If D.C. wants to change its perception as a stuffy, humorless, self-absorbed town, this dinner is a great place to start.