Michelle Wolf said she accomplished her goal to “burn it to the ground” at the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday night — and she’s surprised at the level of reactions to her set.
In an NPR interview scheduled to air Tuesday, Wolf said she knew what she was doing going in and “wanted to do something different” in that she did want to play to the room but to “the outside audience and not betray my brand of comedy.”
A friend who helped her write her performance gave her a note to remind her to “be true to yourself” and “burn it to the ground,” which she said helped keep her on point.
People who have plastered her for her remarks about White House Secretary Sarah Sanders, including those who said Wolf went after Sanders physical appearance, did not “pay attention to what was said.”
She did mock the physical appearance – of Mitch McConnell and Chris Christie, Wolf acknowledged, wondering where’s the outrage over that. “If there [are] two people that I actually made fun of their looks on Saturday it was Mitch McConnell and Chris Christie, and no one is jumping to their defense,” she said.
Sanders needs to get a sense of humor about herself, Wolf seemed to suggest, saying, “There’s plenty where you could look back and the camera was on Obama when people were making pretty aggressive jokes about Obama and he was laughing. Having the ability to laugh at yourself is important.”
Besides, Wolf suggested, Sanders had it coming, having been hostile to the journalists earlier in the event when she pointedly declined to join everyone else on the dais in standing when some journalists were given awards for their work.
“They came up to accept [the awards] she sat the whole time, while we all stood and shook their hands,” Wolf said of the dais. “I would say if this is about celebrating the media, she wasn’t there to celebrate the media.”
The days of the comedian hosting the event going “table by table pointing at people and making fun of them” are over, she said.
That “used to be fun, because the dinner used to have the president there; it used to be we’re all poking fun of each other – the president’s going to poke fun at us, we’re going to hit back.”
But we’re now in a “much more serious environment” she said, “and to kind of not go after the big issues and just have a little fun in the room seemed just not as exciting to me.”