President Obama gave his last White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech tonight, and he was amazing. Great timing, solid material, and the kind of laid-back confidence that comes with not giving any more f*cks. He made fun of Ted Cruz for calling a basketball hoop a ring; he made fun of Hillary Clinton for being out of touch with young people; he called Bernie Sanders “comrade,” and, while he did make fun of Trump, he barely dignified him as a presidential candidate. He basically reduced Trump to failed business man trying to promote his hotels through a presidential campaign. “The guy wanted to give his hotels a boost, and now we’re praying Cleveland makes it through July.”
(As of this writing, the normally prolific Trump has not responded on Twitter, though he has Tweeted. He probably doesn’t want to call anymore attention to Obama’s speech than has already been given).
I’ve seen a lot of these speeches, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one as funny as self-assured as Obama’s was tonight. The President absolutely owned it.
And if you watch nothing else, watch Obama’s epic mic drop.
As for Larry Wilmore? Ooof. It didn’t help that he had to follow Obama, but Wilmore didn’t do himself any real favors, either. The crowd was hard on him, and it was clear his confidence was shaken. There were a lot of groans, a lot of cringes, and at one point, even Don Lemon flipped him off. It didn’t work. He didn’t have the material to follow Obama, and weak material led to a bad response which led to an increasingly insecure performance. I like Larry Wilmore, and he did get off a few great jokes (including jokes about Guantanamo and drone strikes, at Obama’s expense), but it wasn’t a good overall speech (and the Ted Cruz/Zodiac Killer bit went on way too long).