Black comedians react to Larry Wilmore’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner jokes

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA News Wire Contributing Writer)

Larry WilmoreLarry Wilmore

President Obama drops mic

 President Obama drops mic

President Barack Obama dropped his microphone at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, acknowledging what everyone had already concluded: he slayed it!  Larry Wilmore didn’t do so bad as host, either, at least depending upon who is doing the review and if you’re among those willing to dismiss his use of the N-word.   But, leave it to comedians like George Wallace to really sum up the evening – in Wallace’s case, probably better than anyone else. “Please come to my 2:17am show at the Waffle House Correspondents’ Dinner,” Wallace wrote on Twitter, right after the event ended.
“I’m getting from [Larry Wilmore] what I wanted and didn’t get from Chris Rock at the Oscars: Peak truth-telling…” said Erica Williams Simon, a comedian in her own right and a self-described recovering D.C. political strategist and activist.
Comedian Akilah Hughes had even more to say. “Someone come through with the ‘White Feelings about Larry Wilmore’ Bingo card,” Hughes tweeted as she followed the monologues and skits at the dinner. The comedian was even more impressed with Obama’s mic drop. “Literal mic drop from Mr. President #ObamaOut,” Hughes said.
Chris Acuff took note of those who were not laughing at Wilmore’s jokes.“D.C.-based journos, Republicans [and] everyone at CNN,” Acuff noted on his Twitter feed.
However, Rev. Al Sharpton called Wilmore’s remark in which the comedian saluted Obama by using the term “My N—-a,” distasteful. “It was in bad taste,” Sharpton said. Comedian Dick Gregory also said Wilmore could have done without the obscene word. “I wouldn’t have done it,” Gregory said.
Philip Lewis, an editorial fellow at the Huffington Post, tweeted that pundits should “save your N-word, think pieces. We don’t want them.” Lewis then signed his tweet, “Sincerely, the Black community.”
Brandon Patterson of Mother Jones, however, had a different take. “I wish White people were as offended by police brutality and mass incarceration as they are by black people using the N-word,” Patterson tweeted.
By dropping the N-word on Obama, Wilmore broke the cardinal rule of cutting-edge humor – he wasn’t funny,” said Leonard Greene of the New York Daily News.
However, Matt Wilstein wrote in “The Daily Beast” that, “Wilmore proved exactly why he was the perfect choice to host Obama’s final White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Even if the crowd of journalists in attendance didn’t seem to agree.” Wilstein continued: “More than ever before, the president was an impossible act to follow. Not only did Obama deliver a slew of jokes at Donald Trump’s expense, but he also presented an elaborate ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’-style video that included an epic John Boehner cameo.
Wilmore began by welcoming the guests in the house once again to the event, ‘or as Fox News will report, two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.’ He introduced himself as ‘a Black man who replaced a White man who pretended to be a TV newscaster,’ before adding, ‘so yeah, in that way Lester Holt and I have a lot in common,’ to groans from the crowd at Brian Williams’s expense.”
He was even more harsh to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, saying, ‘Hey, Wolf, I’m ready to project tonight’s winner: Anyone who isn’t watching ‘The Situation Room.’”
Perhaps, no one else captured the historical sentiment of the evening better than former Attorney General Eric Holder after Obama finished his speech in grand style. “Dropped the mic!! Obama out. POTUS killed at WHCD. You’re going to miss my man America,” Holder wrote on Twitter. “Consequential – and funny. #POTUS2016”

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