Roy Wood Jr. got the biggest gig of his career over the weekend.
The comic actor (a standout in “Confess, Fletch“) and “Daily Show” contributor served up the yuks at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
That’s the annual event where reporters hobnob with the stars and pretend they speak truth to power. Then a progressive comedian shreds the GOP while kissing up to the Democrats.
Wood did just that during his comments, including this softball lobbed at Vice President Kamala Harris.
“The most insulting scandal to fall to the feet of the Biden Administration is placed at the feet of our Madam Vice President. The scandal of, ‘What Does Kamala Do?’”
Let’s put aside the awkward phrasing of the pre-written joke.
Satire demands truth to be funny. The Biden White House overflows with scandals, from the disastrous Afghanistan retreat to colluding with Big Tech to silence dissent, to name just two.
Those aren’t “tan suit-sized” scandals. They’re the real deal, and more may be on the way.
BREAKING: James Comer and Chuck Grassley allege that the FBI is in possession of a documents showing that Joe Biden as VP committed bribery with a foreign national in exchange for policy decisions. pic.twitter.com/LsxovvPkk0
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 3, 2023
Plus, Harris is the Vice President, a mostly ornamental post. Team Biden tasked her with overseeing the U.S./Mexico border, which still leaks like a sieve despite Harris’ bravura performance. The problem is so untenable Biden just sent 1,500 military members south to “secure” the country.
Mission accomplished, eh?
So far, the joke doesn’t make sense, but Wood wasn’t done. He continued, backing off anything critical of Harris to attack his real targets … the people no longer in power.
“That’s a disrespectful question because no one ever asked that question of the Vice President until a woman got the job. I don’t know what Mike Pence did. The only thing I know about Mike Pence is that he’s really good at playing hide and seek at the Capitol … at the end of the day, as Vice President, the only thing you got to do is be better than Dick Cheney. That’s the bar. Just be better than Dick Cheney…
Dick Cheney was the Vice President 15 years ago.
And if a VP’s job is really just waiting to step in to save the country in case of emergency, then the job of Vice President is the perfect job for a black woman. It shouldn’t be. But it is. And whatever you do accomplish, all they are going to do is just give a man credit for it. Anything you do … they are just going to give a man credit for what you have done.”
If you can find some actual laughs in there, good luck.
It still left Wood praying that his presumed target, the Vice President, wouldn’t be offended. Here’s what he said about the line to the unhinged Leftists at “The View.”
While Alyssa Farah Griffin noted that it “landed so well,” Wood fired back, “We can say that now! The joke literally starts with, ‘What does Kamala do?’ That was the first sentence of the joke. And I’m like, ‘Oh, Jesus. Please.’”
He continued, “It’s a joke about how that question, in my opinion, is an insult because we didn’t really ask it of Mike Pence when he was running and hiding around the White House. And I think it was fair to at least point out some of the stuff that she’s done from a policy standpoint.”
Yes, she has quite the track record and the tepid polling numbers to prove it.
Wood said he remained nervous about the introductory “joke” – “because if [Harris] doesn’t smile at that, then the next two minutes I’m done.”
What does that even mean?
Previous WHCD comics roasted the current presidents to their faces without a care in the world. The late Don Imus skewered President Bill Clinton in 1996, a moment which drew some withering reviews.
In 2006, Stephen Colbert did the same as President George W. Bush squirmed in his seat. The press cheered.
Agree or disagree with that scorched-earth approach, those comics didn’t fear “upsetting” powerful politicians. They knew it was in the job description.
That was then.
Now, a comedian barely lays a finger, let alone a whole glove on the second most powerful woman on the planet, and he’s shaking in his shoes.
We should have some sympathy for Wood. Most political comedians feel the same way. A Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Trevor Noah or another liberal cutup wouldn’t go near VP Harris, either.
And, if they even mentioned her name they’d likely celebrate her, full stop.
Maya Rudolph’s Harris impression is beyond toothless. It’s meant to further her political aspirations. Rudolph all but said as much.
“But it’s rare to be involved in a presidential campaign…. I think knowing that there was a candidate that I resembled so much was so cool in and of itself. And then icing on the cake is just simply getting to do it on the show, a place that I feel so at home in, and that I love. But also it’s just the charge of this time and being able to have any sort of voice in the story. I also just felt really lucky that we figured out a way to have fun with her early on and make her a joyful character.”
Wood knows if he landed a hard satirical jab at Harris his bid to replace Trevor Noah at “The Daily Show” would go up in flames.
As is, his unofficial audition for the gig hit all the right notes.