At the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, comedian Roy Wood, Jr. delivered punchlines aimed at President Joe Biden, former President Donald J. Trump, Tucker Carlson, Don Lemon, and Republicans like Rep. George Santos.
At the annual event at the Washington Hilton, the Daily Show correspondent joked around with journalists, lawmakers, and celebrities after Biden’s remarks.
“An overlooked purpose of tonight’s dinner is to award scholarships to students who have shown great achievements in journalism. These brave young souls are the future of the industry, and I’d like to stop right now and congratulate tonight’s top scholarship recipient, Arizona State senior George Santos,” Wood joked. “George couldn’t be here tonight — he’s auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
He continued, “Speaking of drag queens, can we stop with the ‘grooming’ stuff? Can we stop talking about that? Drag queens are not at a school to groom your kids. Stop it. And even if they were, most of them kids are going to get shot at school. It ain’t no problem. Don’t groan, pass legislation! Don’t think boos are going to bother me. I’m like Mitch McConnell: I ain’t got no soul.”
Then he turned to two famous television faces: Tucker Carlson of Fox News and Don Lemon of CNN. Both personalities were fired by their employers within a few hours of each other last week.
“The untouchable Tucker Carlson is out of a job… To Tucker’s staff, I know what you’re feeling. I work at The Daily Show. I, too, have been blindsided by the sudden departure of the host of a fake news program,” he said to laughter.
“Speaking of a**holes, Don Lemon is out of a job,” Wood quipped.
“Don Lemon released a statement saying he got fired from CNN, then CNN released a statement saying that they offered Don a meeting. They had to part ways ’cause Don Lemon can’t even accurately report a story about Don Lemon.”
Addressing the CNN table in the room, he continued, “I still think that Don Lemon deserved more, CNN. That ain’t how you fire somebody. It’s messed up. How funny is it that you work in the news then watch on the news that you got fired from the news? Don Lemon is now the most obnoxious guy in the history of CNN. That’s not fair! Even Jeffrey Toobin is looking at Don Lemon like, ‘Oooh, he rub me the wrong way.”
After a fit of laughter by attendees, he went on.
“I ultimately understand why CNN did what they did. I get it. It’s about morals,” he said. “There should be no place on air for someone who speaks with wild disregard and doesn’t consider the blowback to their coworkers or their company. Thankfully, CNN has taken steps in the right direction. They got rid of Don Lemon, and they have now given a show to … Charles Barkley.”
But Wood reserved some of his best work to call out Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was embroiled in a scandal for weeks after revelations that he failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars of lavish vacations and trips been gifted by a Republican billionaire.
“A billionaire named Harlan Crow was flying Clarence Thomas all over the world on unreported trips like an Instagram model, taking Clarence to the Maldives, and the beaches, and all that,” he began.
“He paid for Clarence Thomas’s momma’s house! … Do you understand how rich you have to be to buy a Supreme Court justice? A Black one, on top of that! There’s only two in stock, and Harlan Crow owns half the inventory.”
He added, “We can all see Clarence Thomas, but he belongs to billionaire Harlan Crow — and that’s what an NFT is.”
The White House Correspondent’s Dinner returned for its second in-person year after being canceled because of the ongoing global pandemic.
Trump skipped all four dinners rather than dine with, as he called the press, “the enemy of the people.”
Watch the full 2023 White House Correspondents’ Dinner speaking program below.
Watch full 2023 White House correspondents' dinnerwww.youtube.com