white house correspondents' dinner

Michelle Wolf Defends WHCD Jokes: ‘I Didn’t Want to Cater to the Room’

Michelle Wolf. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

By now you know that comedian Michelle Wolf roasted the hell out of many in attendance at this past weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the annual gala for the White House Correspondents’ Association that is put on to raise funds for WHCA scholarships and hand out awards for professional journalists. Among other things, Wolf’s stand-up routine targeted media organizations that enabled Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency and have since profited off his victory, Kellyanne Conway’s challenged relationship with the truth, and of course, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who she called an “Uncle Tom, but for white women who disappoint other white women.” The Late Night With Seth Meyers writer has since stood by her routine on Twitter, and tomorrow, you can hear her talk about it more on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

NPR has released a few excerpts of the interview in advance of tomorrow’s broadcast, and she will be addressing topics like Huckabee Sanders’s failure to embrace the spirit of the event by staying seated the entire time, even when others rose for applause:

Yeah, CNN reporters got awards, I cannot remember the exact award they got, but they came up to accept them and she sat the whole time, while we all stood and shook their hands. I would say if this is about celebrating the media she wasn’t there to celebrate the media.

And how she decided what tone to take at the event:

I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to cater to the room. I wanted to cater to the outside audience, and not betray my brand of comedy. I actually, a friend of mine who helped me write, he gave me a note before I went on which I kept with me which was, “Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground.”

And there’s also the advice a friend of hers who helped write the routine shared with her as motivation: “Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground.” Even the WHCA, which basically disavowed Wolf’s monologue, would have to agree she accomplished her goal.

Update: You can listen to Wolf’s complete conversation with Gross below.

Michelle Wolf Defends WHCD Jokes in New Interview