Michelle Wolf is standing by her WHCD monologue. So are we.


The comedian’s monologue was full of hard truths, biting humor and eloquent take-downs. It was exactly what the White House Correspondents’ Dinner called for.

About three minutes into her monologue at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Michelle Wolf said something very important to the White House Correspondents’ Association, the organization that puts on the event: “You should have done more research before you got me to do this.”

By pointing this out, I’m in no way saying Wolf shouldn’t have been hired as the evening’s entertainer — I actually think she nailed it. No, the reason I’m highlighting this part of her speech is because it perfectly encapsulates the tone of Wolf’s set and why her specific voice was exactly what the occasion needed. It also spotlighted one of the many flaws of the WHCD.

In case you haven’t seen the debates on news shows or Twitter, Wolf caused quite the stir at the annual event. She called out the Trump Administration, especially Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for its constant, often outrageous dishonesty. She mocked Democrats’ uncanny talent for messing up seemingly in-the-bag elections. And she dared to shame journalists for playing a part in normalizing Trump.

It was awesome.

But many disagree with me on this. Huckabee Sanders and Conway were visibly annoyed during Wolf’s set. Trump — who couldn’t muster the courage to attend — characterized the dinner as “fake news,” suggesting he doesn’t know what news is. Morning Joe‘s Mika Brzezinski chastised Wolf for mocking Huckabee Sanders’ appearance (which Wolf didn’t do). The WHCA even issued a statement apologizing for Wolf’s monologue and describing it as “not in the spirit” of the Correspondents’ Dinner’s mission.

Here’s where Wolf’s comment about WHCA not doing its homework comes in. First, I have to disagree with WHCA and say that Wolf’s set was very much in the spirit of the event. She made fun of the current administration and state of journalism, and so has every other comedian invited to speak at the dinner. Second, if WHCA is disappointed by Wolf’s remarks, they have no one to blame but themselves. Her monologue was very much in line with her standup comedy.

Take this portion of her 2017 HBO special, Nice Lady:

"I do have a theory on why Hillary lost. I think it’s ’cause no one likes her. Like, I voted for her, but I don’t like her. Like, if she came up to talk to me at a party, I’d be like, “I’m sorry. I have to go to the bathroom.” … We’re never gonna have a nice lady run for president. Nice ladies aren’t in charge of things. And if you’re in charge of something and you think you’re a nice lady, no one else does. There are whole email chains about how much you’re not a nice lady."

In that bit, Wolf lays out a lot. She’s political; she’s a liberal, but unafraid of going after other liberals; and she doesn’t care about being nice. Wolf displayed all of these traits Saturday night.

So, yeah, if the WHCA isn’t happy with how the Correspondents’ Dinner went, then that’s on them. Wolf acted how she has always acted while performing. Plus, she’s a comedian. Being universally likable and uncontroversial isn’t her job.

Wolf, I’m happy to report, feels the same way. She defended her monologue in a recent NPR interview. “I wouldn’t change a single word,” she stated. “I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns.”

Many other comedians and critics are also impressed by Wolf’s performance. Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah — Wolf’s former employers at Late Night and The Daily Show, respectively — praised her work, as did Stephen Colbert. Adam Ruins Everything‘s Adam Conover defended her in a New York Times op-ed. And many other online pieces have commended Wolf for taking Trump and his cronies to task, along with the journalists who accept their lies at face value.

As you’ve probably already figured out, I agree with Meyers, Noah, Colbert, the writers who have stood up for Wolf, and with the comedian herself. Once the dust settles, her monologue will likely be remembered in a similar way to Colbert’s own 2006 WHCD monologue: as a much-needed, no holds barred response to the current political moment. Colbert wasn’t happy with Bush or the press in 2006. Wolf definitely isn’t pleased with the press, Trump or the members of his Musical Chairs game of an administration. Colbert spoke up and so did Wolf.

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So, to sum things up, way to go, Michelle Wolf! On Saturday you had the courage to do what so many of us have dreamed about since Election Night 2016. You told the Trump Era exactly what you think of it. It was — and I mean this is the best sense possible — brutal. Keep on fighting the good fight. Let’s hope others follow your lead.

(Also, that joke comparing Huckabee Sanders to Aunt Lydia from The Handmaid’s Tale was possibly the best thing that has ever happened. Bravo.)