Nightly Show Television

Watch Larry Wilmore elicit gasps and groans from a stiff White House Correspondents Dinner audience

What did you think of Wilmore's controversial speech?

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Larry Wilmore spared no one during his harsh speech to a stiff room at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner. Wilmore is the host of Comedy Central’s Nightly Show, on which he frequently discusses issues of race, so it’s no surprise that he made a number of racially-tinged jokes, many of which made the audience of journalists and Washington elites uncomfortable after he started off with, “Welcome to Negro Night here in Washington. Or as Fox News will report, ‘Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in DC.'”

Wilmore has been vocal about the idea that, since he voted for Obama because he was black, he can say anything he wants about his policies. And he did. Some of the harshest jokes in his act were directed toward the President regarding Guantanamo Bay and drone warfare. “I saw you hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. That was cool. You know, it kind of makes sense too, because both of you like raining down bombs on people from long distances.”

Some of his jokes, like the Ted Cruz Zodiac Killer bit ran too long, but since that was the only joke most of the room felt safe laughing at, so Wilmore squeezed what laughs he could out of it, before heading back for more groans and uncomfortable chuckles.

Wilmore caused the biggest gasp at the end of the speech when he got real with the president to “keep it 100.” Pointing out that he grew up in a world where a black man couldn’t lead a football team but now leads the free world, Wilmore turned to the president and said, “You did it, my n*gga!” and the news media lost its collective mind. Pundits are already saying this is the end of Wilmore’s career. But they said the same thing about Stephen Colbert after he skewered Bush and friends in 2006. Only time will tell if Wilmore went too far with his roast.

Scroll down for all the harshest lines, courtesy of The Washington Post, and check out President Obama’s joke-filled speech below.

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— “Welcome to Negro Night here in Washington. Or as Fox News will report, ‘Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in DC.'”

— “Nice to be here, though, at the White House correspondents’ dinner where, as you know, they’re gonna call it next year, ‘Donald Trump Hosts a Luxurious Dinner Paid For By Mexico.'”

— “A little bit about me: I am a black man who replaced a white man who pretended to be a TV newscaster. So yeah, in that way, Lester Holt and I have a lot in common.”

— “I can’t understand why everybody treats Donald Trump with kid gloves. Then I realize they’re the only gloves that will fit his stupid little baby hands.”

— To Obama: “I saw you hanging out with NBA players like Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. That was cool. You know, it kind of makes sense too, because both of you like raining down bombs on people from long distances.”

— “Speaking of drones, how is Wolf Blitzer still on television? Ask a follow up question! Hey Wolf, I’m ready to project tonight’s winner: Anyone that isn’t watching ‘The Situation Room.'”

— “I have to say about the first lady, it is so nice to have dinner with you. She is the epitome of grace, class, and poise. Isn’t she? She really is. Not to be confused with future first gentleman Bill Clinton whose three favorite strippers are named Grace, Class, and Poise.”

— “Some of America’s finest black journalists are here tonight. Don Lemon’s here, too.”

— “Hillary [Clinton] was flustered when a Black Lives Matter protester challenged her. I haven’t seen a white lady that upset over being blindsided by a black person since Kelly Ripa.”

— “The Treasury promised to put Harriet Tubman’s face on the $10 bill, but now we have to wait until 2030 for the $20 bill. Man, women haven’t been this deceived by a Bill since Cosby.”

— “Chris Christie was supposed to be here tonight. I don’t know if he made it. He RSVPd for three: He, his wife, and Donald Trump’s dry-cleaning. I shouldn’t make fun. Chris lost a lot of weight recently, didn’t he? This is what he said, he said he just eliminated everything from his routine that wasn’t necessary. Like his self-pride and dignity.”

— “Man, everybody hates Ted Cruz. Even OJ Simpson said, ‘That guy is just hard to like.'”

— “There’s a joke going around the Internet that Ted Cruz is actually the Zodiac Killer. I’m not making that up. Come on, that is absurd. Some people actually liked the Zodiac Killer.”

— “John Boehner came out of retirement and described Ted Cruz as Lucifer in the flesh. Lucifer. I mean that is not fair, man. Lucifer is horrible — but he’s not the Zodiac Killer.”

— “MSNBC is here tonight. Yep, which actually now stands for ‘Missing a Significant Number of Black Correspondents’. . . MSNBC got rid of so many black people, I thought Boko Haram was running that network.”

— “You look terrible, Mr. President. No, you do, man. Look at you. Your hair is so white it tried to punch me at a Trump rally.”

— “I am impressed with the people in this room. There are so many rich, powerful people in this room. You know, it’s nice to finally match the names to the faces in the Panama Papers.”

— “C-SPAN, of course, is carrying tonight’s dinner live. . . Which is ironic because most of the viewers are not. It is true, guys. C-SPAN is the number-one network among people who died watching TV and no one’s found them yet. No, but it is good to be on C-SPAN. I am glad I am not on your rival network ‘No Input HDMI-1.'”

— “CNN’s here tonight. I have not watched CNN for a long time. I used to watch it back when it was a news network. I don’t know about you guys, but I cannot get enough of that CNN countdown clock. Now we can see exactly when they hit zero in the ratings.”

— “I am confused with Bernie Sanders’s stance on guns. He seems to be anti-gun everywhere except Vermont. Bernie doesn’t care who gets a gun in Vermont. [fake whispers] There are no black people in Vermont.”

— “Bernie got in trouble for saying Hillary Clinton was unqualified. She is extremely qualified. In fact, when you factor in all of her policy flip-flops, she is at least several of the most qualified candidates ever to run for president.”

— “Donald Trump looks like the rich dad in every episode of ‘Law & Order’ where the frat kid accidentally strangles a hooker. Or as they say here at the Washington Hilton, Tuesdays.”

— “The president and first lady will return to private life. It is going to be different for you guys. Nobody to wash the dishes or change the bed linens, sweep the floors. You are going to miss Joe Biden.”

— “I just got a note from the president saying that if you want another drink you should order it now because the bar will be closing down. Of course, he said the same thing about Guantanamo so you have at least another eight years.”


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