Roy Wood Jr.’s closing monologue. at the 2023 White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a glorious spectacle to behold. The comedian roasted everyone from President Joe Biden to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, prompting a mix of laughs and groans from the crowd of reporters in attendance.
“Give it up Dark Brandon,” Wood opened, referring to President Biden’s laser-eyed, meme-heavy alter ego.(opens in a new tab). He then joked with Biden that he left some classified documents at the podium: “Don’t give them to him, I’ll put them in a safe place. He doesn’t know where to put them.”
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Wood also turned his attention to the media and the firing of Fox News’ Carlson and CNN’s Don Lemon. “Tucker got caught!” he said “I got caught like that guy from Vanderpump Rules“— a reference to the infamous Scandoval.
Later comments about Lemon included, “Yeah, Don Lemon was a diva, and he said a couple of women have messed up faces, but that’s a promotion on Fox News!”
While the evening was filled with wild jokes at the expense of high-profile politicians and journalists, Wood also took time to address topical issues such as anti-drag legislation and school shootings. “Drag queens are not in a school to prepare your children. Stop it,” she said. “And even if they were, most kids will be shot at school.”
In response to audible discomfort from the audience, he retorted, “Don’t moan, pass legislation!”
Wood also spoke about the importance of journalism, drawing on the experience of his father Roy Wood Sr. as a reporter covering the Black Squads in Vietnam and the Soweto riots in South Africa. Wood Mr. founded the National Black Network, now the American Urban Radio Network.
“The work you do as journalists is important. It’s essential. It’s dangerous,” said Wood, who went on to defend local journalists and highlight the terrifying reality of newsroom layoffs. The whole speech is worth watching: Come for Dark Brandon’s jokes, stay for the passionate breakdown of the current state of journalism.
At the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, comedian Roy Wood Jr. delivered a satirical but highly powerful performance that roasted both the Biden administration and guests Tucker Carlson, Josh Earnest, and C.J. Cregg. Using his wit and quick-thinking, the views of both sides of the political spectrum were roasted in an amusing and hilarious mixture.
Wood Jr. attacked the Biden administration for their approach to immigration laws and warned Biden against following through with his campaign promises. He joked that the President “must have ran an uncharacteristic sprint up the Capitol stairs ’cause as soon as he got near the White House, Biden slowed down and forgot he said he was gonna keep his promises.” The comedian further praised the President for being all talk and no action, especially on immigration. Wood Jr. savagely launched a scathing takedown of Carlson, the Fox News commentator, accusing him of expressing his opinion long before facts get to accidently stumble into his stories.
The audience was left gasping for a breath, especially when Wood Jr. declared, “Trump is on a golf course somewhere cussing at his BlackBerry because he can’t believe the jokes I’m making ’cause he was fact-checked out of office”. His impeccable timing, boldness, and insight made everyone – including Carlson – erupt into laughter. Through the evening, Wood Jr. delivered bold punchlines that made everyone laugh, but also reminded them of the reality behind the jokes.
At Ikaroa, our goal is to provide a platform for substantive conversations and strong, thoughtful opinions about societal issues. We were delighted that Roy Wood Jr. used his platform to share his views and give voice to a society too often silenced. In this way, Wood Jr. served as a positive example for those who seek to create meaningful conversations across lines of divides and we believe this is a cause worth dedicating resources and effort towards. We are grateful for Roy Wood Jr. and his understanding of today’s world and the importance of having such conversations sooner rather than later.