ADDRESSING THE ELEPHANT NOT IN THE ROOM
GREAT COMEDIANS. GREAT STORIES. TOLD DIFFERENT.
Hasan Minhaj opened his speech with, "Welcome to the series finale of The White House Correspondent's Dinner" and ended it with thanking the audience full of journalist for their attendance and inspiration.
I think Hasan did an incredible job of reminding us why free speech is so important in this country.
The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a high stakes gig, especially with our current administration. If you don't know what the event is, think of The Correspondents' Dinner as a low carb, diet version of a comedy roast involving people working in media, the President of the United States and White House administrators. This year however, almost none of the Republican administration showed up.
However, the no show republican party didn't effect Hasan Minhaj's performance. The Muslim American Daily Show corespondent held no punches, he came out swinging, and swinging hard.
"Thank you for having me... My name is Hasan Minhaj, or as I’ll be known in a few weeks, no. 830-287."
After a few harsh opening jokes like, "No one wanted this gig! No one! Don Rickles died just so you wouldn’t ask him to do this gig." Hasan went after the publications. He began with the popular newspaper, USA Today.
"USA Today is what happens when the coupon section takes over the newspaper. “Is this an article about global warming, or 50 cents off Tide? Either way, the pictures are so pretty!”
Just a few jabs later Hasan sunk his teeth into Donald Trump and his obvious absence.
"We gotta address the elephant that is not in the room. The leader of our country is not here. And that’s because he lives in Moscow, and it’s a very long flight. It would be hard for Vlad to make it. Vlad can’t just make it on a Saturday. It’s a Saturday! As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke."
Hasan spent a good amount of time roasting Trump before moving onto the rest of the administration.
"A lot of people think Steve Bannon is the reason Donald Trump dog whistles to racists. And that is just not true. Ask Steve Bannon. Is Steve Bannon here? I do not see Steve Bannon. I do not see Steve Bannon. Not see Steve Bannon… not-see Steve Bannon… Nazi Steve Bannon."
After he was done with the administration he made his way around to the networks commenting on FOX New's irrational fear of Muslims, CNN's never ending 'Breaking News' and MSNBC's mindless ramblings.
"I had a lot more MSNBC jokes. But I don’t want to just ramble on; otherwise I might just get a show on MSNBC."
After all the punchlines Hasan did deliver a heartfelt message of hope and inspiration.
"This event is about celebrating the First Amendment and free speech. Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy. From college campuses to the White House, only in America can a first-generation, Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president. The orange man behind the Muslim ban."
Watch Hasan's Full Speech: