The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, usually a night where celebrities, politicians and the media team up for a night of laughter, was a different affair Saturday than in years past. In a break with precedent, President Trump not only declined to attend the dinner, where presidents typically give a satirical toast, he wasn’t even in the nation’s Capitol — choosing instead to hold a rally in Pennsylvania.
And the featured speaker, “Daily Show” Senior Correspondent Hasan Minhaj didn’t hold back during his speech — joking about his Muslim background and former President Barack Obama “jetskiing while the world burns,” and of course, roasting President Trump and his Administration.
“I am truly honored to be here,” Minhaj said, “even though all of Hollywood pulled out now that King Joffrey is President and it feels like the red wedding in here.”
Minhaj did close on a more serious note, emphasizing the importance of journalism and the First Amendment, telling journalists how in a sense, they now feel the way minorities have felt for decades, and marveling that, as a Muslim-American son of immigrants, he was invited to skewer the President at the annual dinner.
“Only in America,” he said.
Here are the top five moments from his speech.
Poking Fun at Kellyanne Conway’s use of “Alternative Facts”
“I would say it’s an honor to be here, but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one wanted to do this, so of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant. That’s how it always goes down. No one wanted this gig! No one. Don Rickles died just so you wouldn’t ask him to take this gig. RIP to Don Rickles, the only Donald with thick enough skin to take a joke like that. RIP to the legend.”
Comparing the Trump Administration to Anthony Weiner
“For the record, the WHCA is a group of journalists who cover the White House. They are not King Joffrey’s goons. So I am so glad you guys are all here tonight to honor a great tradition. Because we all know this Administration loves deleting history faster than Anthony Weiner when he hears footsteps. So thank you for being here.”
On Trump’s Absence at the WHCD
“I get it, we gotta address the elephant thats not in the room. The leader of our country is not here and that’s because he lives in Moscow. It’s a very long flight. It’s hard for Vlad to make it. Vlad can’t just make it on a Saturday, it’s a Saturday! As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke.”
“I get why Donald Trump didn’t want to be roasted tonight. By the looks of him, he’s been roasting nonstop for the last 70 years. Historically, the President usually performs at the White House Correspondents; Dinner, but I think I speak for all of us when I say he’s done far too much bombing this month.”
The Timing of Trump’s Tweets
“He tweets at 3 a.m. sober. Who is tweeting at 3 a.m. sober? Donald Trump, because its 10 a.m. in Russia. Those are business hours.”
Fact Checking Trump’s Frederick Douglass Remark
“Frederick Douglass isn’t here and thats because he’s dead. Someone tell the President.”
- Here’s How Effective the Original Vaccines Are Against Omicron
- The Promise—And Possible Perils—of Editing What We Say Online
- How Trump Survived Decades of Legal Trouble: Deny, Deflect, Delay, and Don't Put Anything in Writing
- Flint Is Still Shaken by its Water Crisis—and Residents Are Experiencing Long-Term Mental-Health Issues
- A Beer Shortage Is Brewing. A Volcano Is Partly to Blame
- How Fasting Can—and Can't—Improve Gut Health
- Cities Keep Enforcing Curfews for Teens, Despite Evidence They Don't Stop Crime
- Joe Manchin’s Red Tape Reform Could Supercharge Renewable Energy in the U.S.
- Column: We Should Talk More About What a Brilliant Actor Marilyn Monroe Was