Monday, May 1, 2017

 Here are the highlights from "Daily Show" comedian Hasan Minhaj's speech at the 2017 White House correspondents' dinner. (Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)

President Trump wasn’t there to roast in person at the White House correspondents’ dinner. But that didn’t stop the evening’s entertainer, Hasan Minhaj. The comedian said at one point that he was told not to go after the president (though White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason appeared to deny this in an audible aside from the stage). There were plenty of jokes about Trump and his administration — and more than a few at the media’s expense as well.
Here are some of the harshest jokes from Minhaj’s speech.
— “I would say it is an honor to be here, but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one wanted to do this. So of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant.”
— “Don Rickles died just so you wouldn’t ask him to do this gig, all right? RIP to Don Rickles, the only Donald with skin thick enough to take a joke like that.”
— “A lot of people in the media say that Donald Trump goes golfing too much. . . which raises a very important question: Why do you care? Do you want to know what he’s not doing when he’s golfing? Being president. Let the man putt-putt! . . . The longer you keep him distracted, the longer we’re not at war with North Korea.”
— “We gotta address the elephant that’s not in the room. The leader of our country is not here. And that’s because he lives in Moscow; it is a very long flight. It’d be hard for Vlad to make it. Vlad can’t just make it on a Saturday! As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke.”
— “There was also another elephant in the room, but Donald Trump Jr. shot it and cut off its tail.”
— “Jeff Sessions couldn’t be here tonight, he was busy doing a pre-Civil War reenactment. On his RSVP, he just wrote ‘NO.’ Just ‘no,’ which happens to be his second favorite n-word.”
— “Is Steve Bannon here? I do not see Steve Bannon. I do NOT see Steve Bannon. Not see Steve Bannon. Nazi Steve Bannon.”
— “Betsy DeVos couldn’t be here; she’s busy curating her collection of children’s tears.”
— “Frederick Douglass isn’t here, and that’s because he’s dead. Someone please tell the president.”
— “Mike Pence wanted to be here tonight, but his wife would not let him because apparently one of you ladies is ovulating. So good job, ladies. Because of you we couldn’t hang out with Mike Pence.”
— “Even Hillary Clinton couldn’t be here tonight. I mean, she could have been here, but I think someone told her the event was in Wisconsin and Michigan.”
— “[Sean Spicer] has been doing PR since 1999. He has been doing this job for 18 years. And somehow, after 18 years, his go-to move when you ask him a tough question is denying the Holocaust. That is insane! How many people do you know that can turn a press briefing into a full-on Mel Gibson traffic stop?”
— “Donald Trump is liar-in-chief. Remember, you guys are public enemy number one. You are his biggest enemy. Journalists, ISIS, normal-length ties.”
— “It is amazing to be among the greatest journalists in the world, and yet, when we all checked into the Hilton on Friday, we all got a USA Today. Every time a USA Today slides underneath my door, it’s like they’re saying, ‘Hey, you’re not that smart, right?’ USA Today is what happens when the coupon section takes over the newspaper. Is this an article about global warming or 50 cents off Tide? Either way, the pictures are so pretty!”
— “The news coming out of the White House is so stressful, I’ve been watching ‘House of Cards’ just to relax. Oh man, a congressman pushed a journalist in front of a moving train? That’s quaint!”

See photos from the White House correspondents’ dinner

Celebrities, journalists and politicians gather in Washington, D.C., for the annual dinner that will not be attended by President Trump.