Samantha Bee: "Paul Ryan's New Intern Has Such A Pure Voice"
Certainly the biggest-- and most hilarious-- news out of Sunday's prestigious Screen Actors Guild award show came when Julia Louis-Dreyfus got up to accept her award (best actress in a comedy-- for Veep ). She eviscerated Señor el Presidente Trumpanzee. "My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France," she said. "I’m an American patriot, and I love this country. Because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes, and this immigrant ban is a blemish and it's un-American." The audience loved it.
I doubt Samantha Bee needed to see that kind of a reaction to come up with the idea for an Alt-Correspondents' Dinner. I suspect it will have way bigger ratings than Trump's official correspondents dinner the same night, the uncomfortable, untenable one with "journalists mingling with Trump administration aides who loathe them, celebrities decrying Trump White House policies, and an entertainment headliner grappling with the tone and boldness of jokes about President Trump himself." Samantha will be hosting an April 29 counter-event, “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” at the Willard Hotel.
“We’re not trying to supersede it,” she said in a telephone interview. “We just want to be there in case something happens-- or doesn’t happen-- and ensure that we get to properly roast the president.”
Ms. Bee said that she and her Full Frontal producers got the idea for their event after Mr. Trump’s election in November.
“We were talking out loud about whether we thought the White House Correspondents’ dinner would change during a Trump presidency, or if it would even exist,” she said. “And then we thought, Why don’t we just do one, just to do it in the way that we would want it done if we were hosting it?”
The “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will probably be shown on TBS in some form; Ms. Bee said that those details were still being worked out, as was a lineup of talent.
“We have binders full of people, but we don’t have any specifics to offer yet,” she said. Ms. Bee said that proceeds from her event would go to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
...Given the open hostility that Mr. Trump and his administration have displayed for the news media, some journalists have wondered if the Correspondents’ Association dinner is a tradition worth preserving. Would Mr. Trump even attend this year, and what entertainer could make jokes about him without getting underneath his oft-demonstrated thin skin? Comedians have only started figuring out how to riff on Mr. Trump as president, and there is a wide gulf between what Trump supporters and detractors think is funny about him.
The Correspondents’ Association has not announced its entertainer for the April dinner, and Ms. Bee said she had no expectation of being asked.
“My assumption is that that invitation is not coming,” she said, “and I don’t blame them for that at all.”
Addressing the Correspondents’ Association, she said: “I honestly can’t imagine what they’re thinking, but I really wish them well. I think that’s going to be very challenging. Does 3 Doors Down do comedy? I don’t know, maybe they do.”