Sometimes There Is Truth In Comedy
I’m not a political writer. You can ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you I would rather write about a tiger that raised some ducklings or something, but the controversy over comedian Michelle Wolf and her jokes about Sarah Huckabee Sanders angers me as a comic.
Since this is my first editorial, I will give you a little context: Before I came to Oklahoma City Community College I worked somewhere in the ballpark of 26 different jobs — one of which was as a standup comic.
Being a comic took me to beautiful places like Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington. It also gave me the chance to meet a lot of people, many of whom were comics. Some of them were hilarious and many others emptied a room with one joke.
When you do stand up you start out doing open microphone night, it’s basically what you live for. When you are doing a open-mic or watching one you have absolutely no idea what that person is going to say.
Which brings me to my first point.
The White House Correspondents’ Association issued a statement prior to the Correspondents dinner that said: “Our dinner honors the First Amendment and strong, independent journalism. Michelle’s embrace of these values and her truth-to-power style make her a great friend to the WHCA.”
There are possibilities here, either they had no idea who they were putting in front of a microphone or (and I’m betting on this one) the comic the WHCA booked came under fire and they felt like jumping ship.
Following the dinner the WHCA released a second statement: “Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, and great reporting and scholarship winners not to divide people. Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that.”
Was it not?
“I’m not sure this is a healthcare bill, as much as it’s a line from a notorious B.I.G song “F*** B****** get money”” was how Michelle Wolf described a health bill that would affect women’s health options in one of her bits on the Daily Show.
There is a reason George Carlin never did a White House Correspondents Dinner.
Following the event, media outlets called Wolf’s monologue “filthy” and “disgusting.”
Mika Brzinski tweeted: “Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable. I have experienced insults about my appearance from the president. All women have a duty to unite when these attacks happen and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology.”
No to all of this.
I’m not going to quote the jokes in this editorial because that’s not how stand-up comedy is supposed to be experienced. I’m also not going to explain the joke but they were not about Sarah Huckabee Sanders looks.
The jokes were a commentary on perceived inaccuracies that have come out of this president’s administration among other things.
President Trump tweeted “The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy ‘comedian’ totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put Dinner to rest, or start over!”
Political comedians Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert (both have performed at previous WHC dinners) have thrown their support behind Wolf.
I am no different. I support Wolf because she was doing her job, she was telling jokes.
Maybe some people don’t like a joke or don’t get the joke, get over it. Wolf is an outspoken feminist and a very talented comic, and if you are going to go see a comic or book one to roast politicians maybe consider their past.
You can laugh, you can boo, you can even get up and walk out but one thing you can not do is shut up a talented comic.