Roy Wood Jr., the chairman of the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, talks about the jokes he was most nervous about and thinks people didn’t understand.
During Monday’s episode of The viewthe comedian recalled his set at the 2023 gala, particularly his jokes about Kamala Harris and Don Lemon.
At one point while giving his speech on Saturday night, he turned to the vice president and said, “I think the most insulting scandal that fell at the feet of the Biden administration was at the feet of our Madam Vice President was laid – the scandal of ‘What is Kamala doing?’ That’s a disrespectful question because no one ever asked a vice president that question until a woman got the job.”
Wood explained The view hosts, that “it’s a joke about how that question is, in my opinion, an insult, because we didn’t actually ask Mike Pence when he was running around the White House hiding. … I think it was fair to at least point out some of the things she’s done from a policy standpoint, then flip it to sexism.
The comedian added that he was nervous at first because if the first joke didn’t get to Harris, “I’ll be done in the next two minutes.”
But on the other hand, he was concerned about people “weaponizing” his jokes to cancel him or push an agenda.
He used his jokes about the former CNN anchor being dropped from the network last week as an example, saying he feels people missed the joke. “I was trying to say that there is a man, no matter what he did off camera, on air he represented the beliefs and the points of view of many marginalized communities, and he fought for that on air. And when he’s gone, I’m not sure Charles Barkley will tick all the boxes.
Barkley and Gayle King will host a weekly primetime program called King Charleslater this year.
The jokes Wood references about Lemon from the WHCD night include, “Speaking of assholes, Don Lemon doesn’t have a job.” Don Lemon released a statement saying he was fired from CNN, after which CNN released a statement saying they offered Don a meeting. They had to break up, because Don Lemon can’t even accurately tell a story about Don Lemon. I still think Don Lemon deserved more, CNN. That’s not how you fire someone. It’s messed up. How funny is it that you work in the news and then watch the news that you got fired by the news?
Wood’s joke continued, “Letting Don go was the wrong move.” You shouldn’t have let him go, not so soon… You don’t fire your host after the first few scandals. The scandals are piling up. You have to get the ratings. Yes, Don Lemon was a diva and he said a few women were frayed in the face. But that’s a promotion at Fox News!”
The comedian continued The view hosts that the joke went “to make sure there is airway representation. … And that was completely missed and the headline was just, ‘You hit Don Lemon.’ And I’m like. ‘OK, maybe, but also.’”