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Samantha Bee riffs on Sarah Sanders, lack of comic at mock correspondents’ dinner

Comedian Samantha Bee on Friday night said she wasn’t planning to host her raunchy, no-holds-barred “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” ever again – but then the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) decided to eliminate the comedic roast portion of its annual dinner.

The “Full Frontal” host, wearing a sleek black pantsuit with shimmery stripes, told a room of politicos and journalists gathered at DAR Constitution Hall on Friday that she was incensed by the WHCA’s decision to invite a historian rather than its typical comedian, accusing the press association of bending to the president’s will.

{mosads}”Our president tweeted the White House correspondents’ dinner should change and they did it,” Bee told the crowd at her second mock-White House correspondents’ dinner, which included top journalists and entertainment figures.

“No one should ever do what the president tweets at them!” she declared.

A comedian has traditionally been invited to WHCA dinners to “roast” the administration on topical matters. But after an uproar over comedian Michelle Wolf’s controversial set at the dinner last year, the association shifted gears and invited historian Ron Chernow to headline this year’s gathering.

Bee promised the audience of more than 2,000 at her event on the eve of the dinner that she would give them the night of brutal honesty and comedic schticks that she thought they deserved, aided by fellow entertainment big-wigs such as Robert DeNiro and “West Wing” star Bradley Whitford. 

The evening kicked off with an intro video parodying “Aliens 2,” featuring actress Sigourney Weaver as she pleaded with Bee to come back to earth to host the dinner – “the most important thing there is.” MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi made guest appearances in the apocalyptic video alongside veteran journalist Katie Couric, who deadpanned, “I’d rather get another televised colonoscopy than cover the 2020 election.” 

Bee also offered up some musical acts, including a racy R&B number about being turned on by journalism – “BuzzFeed makes me hot and sweaty” and “I want to be a notch on The Washington Post” – as well as a duet with Broadway actor Brandon Victor Dixon poking fun at the media’s reluctance to refer to call incidents “racist.” 

Dixon posed as the editor to Bee’s journalist, advising her to avoid words like “racially charged” and “racially tinged” in a “My Fair Lady”-style tune.

“The racist did racism, which was racist!” Dixon sang.  

Throughout the night, “Sarah Huckabot Sanders,” a “robot” version of the White House press secretary, watched on from the sidelines. 

“That was about my appearance!” the robot accused Bee at one point, a reference to the uproar over of Wolf’s comments about Sanders’s “smoky eyeshadow.”

“How dare you?” the robot added.

Bee referred to the robot as the show’s “humor adviser,” saying the automated White House spokeswoman “lets us know when it’s OK to make a joke.” 

The comedian also didn’t hesitate to wade back into the territory that provoked uproar last year, calling back to criticism Wolf faced over remarking about Sanders’s appearance.

Bee said the spokeswoman’s appearance isn’t the issue, adding that “on the inside” the aide is “as hideous as a pinworm in an anus.”

The “Full Frontal” host didn’t hesitate to unleash on President Trump as well, slamming him during an extended takedown in which she referenced allegations of sexual assault and harassment against him four times. 

“Donald, I’m going to roast you as if you were here,” Bee said. “I’ve thought, what would I say if I were ever in the same room as you? I mean, after, ‘Hey, let go, I’m not a bowling ball!’ It’s funny because he’s a sexual assaulter,” she said to some applause and groans.

Bee at another point mocked special counsel Robert Mueller’s report for its “excessive” redactions, saying there was “so much black on it Trump demanded to see its birth certificate,” a reference to Trump’s support for the so-called “birther” movement against former President Obama.  

The night included video compilations of lawmakers who have avoided answering questions from journalists, bloopers from live TV hits on local news stations, and a tribute to Fox anchor Shepard Smith, dubbed the “loneliest boy at Fox.” 

DeNiro rounded out the night with a diatribe against Trump, who he called a “relentless, unrepentant lying scumbag.” The “Taxi Driver” star, a vocal critic of Trump, called the Mueller report a “greatest hits album” for journalists. 

The full “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will air on Saturday night, at the same time as the actual WHCA dinner. 

Tags American writers Donald Trump Donald Trump Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Michelle Wolf Robert Mueller Samantha Bee WHCA White House Correspondents' Association

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