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To say Michelle Wolf’s turn at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner caused a stir would be a huge understatement. Not only did the comedian’s performance cause gasps in the room, but it also inspired overly dramatic walkouts and even a presidential rebuke via Twitter. But prior to the hullabaloo in Washington, D.C., Wolf was eliciting bipartisan laughs with her HBO stand-up debut, Nice Lady.
The special is up for an Emmy in the outstanding writing for a variety special category, and the awards consideration should be a high point of what’s been a roller-coaster year for Wolf. In addition to the WHCD, Wolf’s Netflix show The Break With Michelle Wolf made its debut in late May, but was canceled after one season.
Despite the accolades on the one hand and the criticism from the White House on the other, Wolf feels that comedians should be allowed to do their job of being funny and that the public needs to stop putting pressure on them to act as philosophers of the truth. “It’s like, no, what we say is funny and that’s really where it should be. That’s where our barometer should be,” she said.
She added: “We’re staying at motels in, like, Kansas, you know, just eating ribs and being miserable. I don’t think we are your moral compass.”
Wolf noted that her special was released after the height of the #MeToo coverage, but her feminist-inspired set was able to speak to the current climate in our country and resonate with audiences. “I think people are ready now for women to give their actual real opinions and not be shy. Luckily, I have a voice and it’s very grating and it’s hard to tune out,” she said.
The comedian is also tired of women being confined to sterile comedic material, and has consciously steered toward a dirtier brand of entertainment. “I really hate the idea that women were in, like, these pretty little boxes, where it’s like, ‘You can’t say that, you’re a lady.’ I’m like, ‘No, screw you!'” Wolf said.
The first-time Emmy nominee admitted that her previous political adversary Sarah Huckabee Sanders should probably miss out on her special, as it would be better suited for a former First Lady.
“I don’t want [Sarah Huckabee Sanders] to get the idea that she can burn down a place. I feel like she’d be like Aunt Lydia from [The Handmaid’s Tale] on steroids. Where she was like, ‘You’re right, I should speak up more!’ I’m like, ‘No, you speak up enough.'” Wolf continued, “I would want Michelle Obama to watch it just because I like her and I feel like we’ve probably stressed her out over the past eight years and maybe she could just use a laugh.”
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