Just a few feet away from the first President of the United States to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner since 2016, The daily show host Trevor Noah mixed politics with pop culture to give everyone an equal chance tonight, including the people who pay him the big bucks.
“I actually understand why CBS hired Mick Mulvaney,” Noah noted of the controversial contract awarded to one of Donald Trump’s former chiefs of staff. “He is more than just a man who assured everyone that Donald Trump would give in gracefully, he can also give you access to other people who assured you that Donald Trump would give in. It’s very important,” he added.
“So shout out to CBS, my business cousin,” Noah went on to say at the so-called Nerd Prom with several CBS and Showtime buyers in the Washington Hilton ballroom crowd in front of him and a constantly smiling President Joe Biden. “You can actually find us on Paramount + right in between Spongebob Squarepants and a lot of movies, even Delta’s in-flight entertainment system refused,” the comedian said with a hearty laugh from the crowd.
Watch his full comments in the video above.
The anticipated lash out at the assembled politicians, most notably Florida governor and 2024 hopeful Ron DeSantis, the short shelf life of CNN+, the firing of Jeff Zucker, Chris Cuomo’s lust for big money, and more, fired NYC set Noah wasted little time dragging the biggest entertainment story of the year out of Los Angeles.
“It’s risky to make jokes these days,” says the… daily show The frontman told the crowded and maskless crowd of about 2,500 media outlets, the powerful players of Hollywood and DC, plus President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who sat onstage next to CBS Entertainment Group boss George Cheeks. “I mean, we’ve all seen what happened at the Oscars,” he said of Will Smith’s widely condemned and globally broadcast smack of Chris Rock on March 27 for making fun of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s haircut.
Then Noah bent over what may have been his best joke of the night.
“I’m actually a little worried about tonight. What if I make a really mean joke about Kellyanne Conway and her husband runs up on stage and thanks me?”
For the most part, during his long(ish) routine, Noah tried to kill the crowd with his trade-friendly kindness and smile. Everyone got stabbed, but no one actually got burned… well, unless you work for the Fox News Channel – which has always been a crowd puller for almost everyone at these things for the past twelve years.
A hit with at least one target market, Biden himself, Noah initially praised “the kings of cable, Fox News.” Citing the outlet, which POTUS repeatedly wrapped in his own previous WHCD comments, Noah compared the quality of fact-based news about FNC to a Waffle House. “It’s relatively normal in the afternoon, but as soon as the sun goes down, a drunken lady named Jeanine threatens to fight every Mexican who comes in,” snapped the South African-born comedian.
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As with Biden, and before him Barack Obama at several WHCDs, Noah had FNC in his sights almost from the start of his routine. Putting the entire power elite to work even daring to hold the WHCD in person after about 80 attendees at the “super-diffuser” Gridiron dinner tested positive for Covid earlier this month, Noah named names. “I expect this from Sean Hannity, but the rest of you, what are you doing?” he roared. “You’ve been telling everyone for the past two years the importance of wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings indoors,” Noah continued. “If someone offers you a free dinner, you turn into Joe Rogan.”
Noah clearly noted that White House science adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, “thought it was too dangerous” to come to dinner, then turned the spotlight on the date of the biggest star in the place – “Pete Davidson thinks it’s okay.”
Noah criticized FNC’s Covid coverage for moving viewers “to the ICU,” praising Hannity for being “the longest-running host in cable news history.” Of course, those nice words didn’t get the stench of FNC off the tuxedo-wearing host, nor did they get Hannity off the hook. Fun fact: Sean Hannity and Ainsley Earhardt are actually dating now,” he said of the FNC colleagues. “I actually think it’s wonderful to see an office romance at Fox that won’t end in a $20 million settlement,” Noah chided, speaking of the long-standing scandal that still defines FNC in the eyes of many.
“I’m sure wherever Roger Ailes is now, he’ll look up and smile,” the comedian told gritty faces at the Fox News tables and a guaranteed pillory on Monday at the outlet.
With not much to lose at the time as far as Fox is concerned, Noah doubled down in reference to FNC firestarter and WHCD contestant Laura Ingraham. “Wow, what can you say about her that hasn’t already been said by the Anti-Defamation League?” he proclaimed before shaking up Tucker Carlson a bit.
Perhaps hoping to escape a full-blown partisan response, Noah ended his comments with some thoughts on the beauty and benefits of press freedom in America, especially during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He threw in a not-so-gentle dig at last year’s painful exit from Afghanistan by the president sitting next to him. “Please be careful when you leave tonight, we all know this government doesn’t handle evacuations well,” Noah said seconds before shaking Biden’s hand.