It was four long years ago that the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner featured a comedian, partly thanks to a certain president who can’t take a joke, partly thanks to a public health crisis said commander-in-chief did a terrible job of containing. But now that Joe Biden is president — and now that indoor group gatherings are slightly, if not entirely, safer — the roasting was back. Trevor Noah nabbed the gig last held semi-infamously by Michelle Wolf in 2018, and he did not hold back — and yet he didn’t incur the wrath of the room, as Wolf once did.
The Daily Show host opened by addressing the elephant in the room: COVID-19. Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for the virus, and yet here was a room packed with politicians, journalists, and entertainers, unmasked and brushing up against each other. Noah cracked that it was a “great honor to be speaking at the nation’s most distinguished superspreader event.
“I expect this from Sean Hannity, but the rest of you, what are you doing?” Noah added. “You spent the last two years telling everyone the importance of wearing masks and avoiding large indoor gatherings. Then the second someone offers you a free dinner, you turn into Joe Rogan.” Noah joked that Dr. Anthony Fauci “thought it was too dangerous” to attend while “Pete Davidson thinks it’s OK.”
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) May 1, 2022
There were jokes about Kyrsten Sinema (“openly bisexual but closeted Republican”).
Trevor Noah roasts Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: ‘Who ever thought we’d see the day in American politics when a senator could be openly bisexual, but closeted Republican’ #WHCD pic.twitter.com/Xr6AuNBcHn
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 1, 2022
Chuck Todd. (“How are you doing? I’d ask a follow-up, but I know you don’t know what those are.”)
Trevor Noah roasts Chuck Todd at the #WHCA Dinner.
"Chuck Todd is here. Chuck, you here? How you doing? I'd ask a follow-up, but I know you don't know what those are." pic.twitter.com/oRBMiYZdc7
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) May 1, 2022
Ron DeSantis. (“He won’t even tell people if he got the booster. Or as they say in Florida, ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’”).
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) May 1, 2022
Jen Psaki punching bag Peter Doocy. (“I think people need to be held accountable if they’re using their dad’s name to get ahead in life. And I can’t think of anyone better to ask about that than Peter Doocy.)”
Trevor Noah dunks on Fox News for endlessly pursuing questions on Hunter Biden: ‘I think people need to be held accountable if they’re using their dad’s name to get ahead in life. And I can’t think of anyone better to ask about that than Peter Doocy’ #WHCD pic.twitter.com/7RPNU5AdRZ
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 1, 2022
And Mitch McConnell (“Don’t you think it’s strange that you and the devil have never been seen in the same place at the same time?’)
Trevor Noah taking a massive shit on Mitch McConnell is worth a watch. pic.twitter.com/FyyXtY7PGn
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) May 1, 2022
There was even a joke about student debt, which the president could — but may not — forgive.
“Dr. Biden kept her teaching career … everyone thinks it’s because she loves teaching but it's actually because she's still paying off her student debt. Shoulda voted for Bernie.” – Trevor Noah at the #WHCD pic.twitter.com/Qx2lOCwPcX
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 1, 2022
As his 25-minute set wound down, Noah ended not with a joke but with an impassioned defense of journalism. “In America, you have the right to seek the truth and speak the truth, even if it makes people in power uncomfortable,” Noah told the crowd. “Even if it makes viewers or readers uncomfortable. You understand how amazing that is? I stood here tonight and I made fun of the president of the United States and I’m going to be fine.” He then turned to Biden and asked, “I’m going to be fine, right?”
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 1, 2022
His final remark, though, took aim at the sitting president. “Please be careful leaving tonight,” Noah said. “We all know this administration doesn’t handle evacuations well.”
— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) May 1, 2022
You can watch Noah’s full set in the video above.
(Via The Daily Beast)