What: A spirited defense of White House Correspondents’ Dinner host Michelle Wolf.
Who: Late-night hosts Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and Trevor Noah.
Why we care: On Saturday night, comedian Michelle Wolf used comedy to critique some powerful people, and everybody got mad. People like failed NFL commentator Dennis Miller got were offended, vowing to research Wolf for a 72-hour period to craft some “brutal” retaliation jokes about her. People like failed steak salesman and casino genius Donald Trump got mad, because, well, when is he not mad? Trump is the kind of person who would sulk through a deep-tissue massage.
More surprisingly, establishment journalists got mad. The likes of New York Times all-star Maggie Haberman, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and even the White House Correspondents’ Association itself, which claimed to be blindsided by its own handpicked, and presumably vetted, host. Everybody got so mad about the comedian’s jokes about an administration that supports Nazis and child molesters–and the media that cozies up to them for access–that we’re still talking about it three days later. However, Wolf has her share of vocal defenders, several of whom dedicated time on Monday’s late-night talk shows to her.
Although the right for comics to speak truth to power is an issue that probably hits close to him for all comedians, the ones who came out in Wolf’s corner have a more personal connection to the subject matter. Stephen Colbert presided over a George W. Bush WHCD, whose scathing tone has since been validated by history, but still incurred some blowback at the time. Not only did Seth Meyers once host a WHCD for Barack Obama—notoriously the one that might have informed Trump’s decision to run for president—but Meyers also hired Michelle Wolf to his staff years ago and gave her her first televised stand-up set. Wolf only left Late Night with Seth Meyers because she was poached by The Daily Show, where Trevor Noah had some helpful words to say on her behalf last night.
All three segments are worth watching, but Colbert’s is most notable for its rare revival of the host’s “Stephen Colbert” persona from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Have a look at all three below.