TV Academy members got an early look at Saturday night’s second ever Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 26, thanks to an Emmy event for “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” held in West Hollywood.
With a podium where attendees could hold their own non-existent White House press briefing, TBS offered up a simulcast of the dinner as it was filmed in Washington, D.C., making its bid for the awards-worthiness of the event, yes, but also Bee and “Full Frontal” in general.
The Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was first held in 2017, opposite the traditional White House Correspondents’ Dinner and organized as a way to roast President Trump as prior presidents had been roasted in years prior. Bee and TBS redoubled their efforts in 2019, announcing another event in order to support the First Amendment.
“I vowed never to host a NWHCD ever again,” Bee said in a February statement, “but the White House Correspondents’ Association has left me no choice — it is now up to comedy journalists to take care of real journalists.” Proceeds for the event, like in 2017, go to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Now that the Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has aired for all and is readily available on YouTube and TBS.com, here are a few things to look for.
Getty Images for TBS
Maybe it’s petty, but Bee’s pantsuit game was next level for the high-profile affair, boasting diamonds on her neck and full-fledged sparkle motion on her pants. It’s powerful, it’s pretty, but most importantly if you’re easily distracted, it keeps you focused on Bee because she’s extremely shiny.
“Full Frontal” pulled a ton of guest talent for NWHCD, including Sigourney Weaver in a sketch to start the show, Saweetie performing the series theme song, Bradley Whitford announcing journalism awards like the beautiful silver fox he is, Brandon Victor Dixon teaching Bee about how to call a racist a racist, and Robert De Niro imploring people to support journalists.
Yet the bit that may have worked best of all featured former “Saturday Night Live” star Taran Killam in the role of a conservative stand-up comedian which struck the perfect level of unfunny and horrifying that it circled back to funny again.
But it comes as no surprise that the crowning jewel of NWHCD comes straight from Bee, via a scathing, unapologetic diatribe cutting the President down to size.
“I thought long and hard about what I would say if I was ever in the same room as you,” Bee said of President Trump. “I mean, what I’d say after ‘Hey, let go! I’m not a bowling bowl.’ It’s funny because he’s a sexual assaulter.”
And that was just the beginning.
“I don’t want to say the Mueller Report is excessively redacted but there was so much black on it, Trump demanded to see its birth certificate,” Bee said, pivoting to the recent release of the long-awaited document. “There was so much black ink, the Virginia governor is dressing up as it for Halloween. It is so black that Trump thinks it should get the death penalty for a crime it didn’t commit.”
See for yourself below.