tv critic’s corner

I hear America zinging at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Michelle Wolf will host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Hilarity For Charity
Michelle Wolf will host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

It is once again time for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, that annual hourlong dry roast of politicians and chicken (and sometimes chicken politicians — bawwk buk buk buk buk ba-gawk!) that stands somewhat proud as DC’s most intentionally funny gathering. 

This year’s featured entertainer is comedian Michelle Wolf, a crushingly funny correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” a former writer for “Late Night with Seth Myers,” and the latest torch-bearer in a long line of actual-fake-news anchors to turn the podium into a barbecue in recent years: Hasan Minhaj (2017), Larry Wilmore (2016), Cecily Strong (2015), Seth Myers (2011), and Stephen Colbert (2006).

This recruitment of faux correspondents to delight the real ones is a trend that has facilitated an especially sharp not-actually-joking-at-all approach, as the truth is temporarily let out of its cage to stalk the audience. And if Wolf’s work at the “Daily Show” desk is any indication, she’ll be lending the dinner the kind of earful it hasn’t heard since Aretha blew the peas off everyone’s plates in 1999. How she goes about it will be the interesting part. 


“I think Trump is terrible for comedy,” she recently told Variety. “A lot of people say he is great. He’s not. You can’t joke a joke.”

As luck would have it, the conditions of comedy have shifted slightly in the past two years, and if Wolf is looking to capitalize on the absurd, she need only take a cue from those who invited her: “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @MBrodeur.