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If you are at all familiar with comedian Michelle Wolf’s work, you were no doubt astonished when she was announced as the performer at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Although Donald Trump was not present for the event, he has successfully created an environment on “The Hill” that promotes and supports his delusional agenda. He has surrounded himself with only people who tell him what he wants to hear and has a long track record of expeditiously firing anyone who breaks this mold.

So what did they expect from Wolf, given her well established anti-Trump views she has routinely displayed during her standup routines and previous performances on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”?

For over 18 minutes, Wolf roasted Trump and all of his minions, while also throwing ample jabs at the Democrats and media members in the audience with her recognizable shrill voice and awkward mannerisms. Her jokes were hilariously audacious and inappropriate, but they elicited continuous applause and laughter throughout, albeit more so from the liberals. Trump was predictably her primary target, and she deployed as many of the twisted and incendiary statements and actions he has made over the past few years as possible to serve her own performance. It was truly open season for Wolf on Trump as she eviscerated him for his racism, infidelity, intelligence and sexism, as well as the copious ongoing sexual assault lawsuits against him.

Wolf’s segment, which surely enraged our president the most, focused on his net worth, or lack thereof. It’s a topic with a lengthy controversy, which has recently returned to the spotlight. Long before Trump’s candidacy was being laughed at and written off by news networks everywhere, he had his own “roast” on Comedy Central, in which he sat on stage as numerous celebrities tore him apart. It later came out that the only topic he told the joke writers was off limits was his wealth. He’s always been supremely defensive when asked about it, which is presumably one of the many reasons why we still haven’t seen his taxes.

In the days before the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, it was revealed that Trump lied about his net worth in order to be named on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. In reality, he only was worth around $5 million, but he was able to convince Forbes he was actually worth $100 million by pretending that all of his father’s assets were in his name. He then was able to leverage billions of dollars in loans on the reputation of the Forbes 400 to fund his endeavors, the majority of which failed. Essentially, Trump is the definitive example of faking it until you make it, and although I loathe him severely, I can’t help but be impressed by this specific scheme.

Anyway, back to Wolf’s attack on Trump’s wealth. To the audience she would say, “Trump is so broke,” to which they would respond, “How broke is he?” Wolf would then counter with a punchline such as, “He’s so broke he has to fly failed business class.” She went on to initiate four more of these exchanges and also circled back to the routine for her finale. Amazingly, even the majority of Republicans who proclaim to support Trump resolutely both participated and chortled. The obvious exception was press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is quite possibly the most apathetically stoic person in existence.

Needless to say, Wolf’s speech has stirred up quite the controversy within Trump’s biosphere, which of course extends to the only people who truly listen to him: the personalities at Fox News. Trump himself naturally made Wolf the target of his daily Twitter rant. Many of them also took to Twitter to call her a disgrace, among other insults, and to demand she apologize.

Despite the outrage, prominent figures of the comedy world have issued statements of support, including Dave Chapelle, Trevor Noah and Seth Myers, all of whom have been very vocal against Trump. But even comedian and Late Show host Stephen Colbert, a noted Republican, has backed her.

I loved Wolf’s speech and commend her for using the platform to state her beliefs and not cater to the audience. I commend her too for her lack of remorse following the controversy. But seriously, if you’re going to be so triggered by her routine, why hire her in the first place?

In this time of horrifically degraded politics, it just seems right that comedy should sink to the occasion.

 

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