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Roy Wood Jr., who headlined the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, is opening up about the jokes he was most nervous about and the one that he thinks people didn’t understand.
During Monday’s episode of The View, the comedian recalled his set at the 2023 gala, specifically his jokes about Kamala Harris and Don Lemon.
While delivering his speech Saturday night, at one point he turned to the vice president and said, “I think the most insulting scandal to fall to the feet of the Biden administration was placed at the feet of our Madam Vice President — the scandal of ‘What does Kamala do?’ That’s a disrespectful question, because nobody ever asked that question of a vice president until a woman got the job.”
Wood explained to The View hosts, that “it’s a joke about how that question, in my opinion, is an insult, because we didn’t really ask it of Mike Pence when he was running and hiding around the White House. … I think it was fair to at least point out some of the stuff that she’s done from a policy standpoint, and then flip it to sexism.”
The comedian added that he was nervous at first because if the first joke didn’t land with Harris, “the next two minutes, I’m done.”
But on the other side, he was worried about people “weaponizing” his jokes to cancel him or push an agenda.
He used his jokes about the former CNN anchor who was terminated from the network last week as an example, saying he feels like people missed the joke. “I was trying to say there’s a man, regardless of what he did off-camera, on-air he represented the beliefs and the viewpoints of a lot of marginalized communities, and he fought for that on-air. And if he’s gone, I’m not sure that Charles Barkley is going to cover all of the boxes.”
Barkley and Gayle King are set to host a weekly primetime program, to be called King Charles, later this year.
The jokes that Wood is referencing about Lemon from the WHCD night, include, “Speaking of assholes, Don Lemon is out of a job. Don Lemon released a statement saying he got fired from CNN, then CNN released a statement saying that they offered Don a meeting. They had to part ways, ‘cause Don Lemon can’t even accurately report a story about Don Lemon. I still think that Don Lemon deserved more, CNN. That ain’t how you fire somebody. It’s messed up. How funny is it that you work in the news then watch on the news that you got fired from the news?”
Wood’s joke continued, “Letting Don go was the wrong move. You shouldn’t have let him go, not this soon… You don’t fire your host after the first couple of scandals. The scandals got to stack up. You gotta get the ratings. Yes, Don Lemon was a diva and he said a couple of women were raggedy in the face. But that’s a promotion at Fox News!”
The comedian went on to tell The View hosts that the joke was “about making sure there’s representation on the airways. … And that was completely missed and the headline was just, ‘You slammed Don Lemon.’ And I’m like. ‘OK, maybe, but also.'”
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