The hottest topic on yesterday’s Wendy Williams Show was the severe burns she delivered to two audience members who were still clutching their pearls over Michelle Wolf’s White House Correspondence Dinner jokes. The topic of Wolf’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders “smokey eye” bit came up during the show and Wendy decided the audience needed to weigh in.
“Okay, co-hosts, honestly clap if you think it was an off-color joke that she made and it’s not right to criticize other women’s looks,” Wendy said evenly. The camera panned over the audience, most of whom were stone-faced as they tried to deconstruct this SAT-level trick question. Two audience members, God bless them, were not here for any of it: criticism, smoke, eyes, jokes, the whole shebang.
You can actually hear this screenshot. I am not sure what is louder, though: the echoing sounds of four hands clapping in loud, wrong isolation or the “not here for it” glares of literally everyone else in the audience.
For a second, it seemed Wendy was going to be on the wrong side of this issue. The question, like a Robert Mueller query, was phrased in the kind of way that prompts one to plead the Fifth, just in case. Or, if you’re the president, it prompts you to go on an unhinged tweet storm early in the morning that only makes you look more guilty. We all deal with Hot Topics in our own way.
In case you’ve been living in a blessed bubble that is impermeable to faux outrage and the death of the free press, I’ll briefly recap the heart of the issue about which Wendy polled the audience. Michelle Wolf, a comedian, was brought into the White House Correspondence Dinner, an awards banquet at which the press and the administration are traditionally mocked by a comedian and the sitting president. The current sitting president has not attended during his tenure because he has Rumplestitskin Syndrome. (You know, that thing where you disintegrate Infinity War-style whenever someone makes fun of any of the numerous things about you that are mockable.) Anyway, every year a comedian shows up and is like “Y’all suck, lol.” And every year the press is like, “OMG so true. C-SPAN is totes boring. Luvs it!”
This year, Michelle Wolf, followed the tradition and did exactly what they hired her to do. But, like Wendy’s audience members, she was being lured into a trap. The administration sent Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the president’s place. (Literally anyone can take the president’s place. On Tuesdays he is portrayed by Donna Murphy; at the next state dinner, the role of the president will be played by a tattered book of Suduku puzzles.) Michelle Wolf made the following joke: “I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”
The free press, all of them trained beauty editors, found their hackles raised by what they characterized as a joke about Huckabee’s appearance. Wolf, to her credit, pointed out that if anything it was compliment on the perfection of Huckabee’s smokey eye look. In any case, this will be one of the dumbest chapters in future A.P History textbooks, but at least Margot Tennenbaum is having a moment
Back to Wendy! After letting the two audience members be loud and wrong for a few seconds, the talk show host shot back, “Well, you’re at the wrong show. Rachel Ray is downstairs! I will call the elevator for you right now.”
The audience members laughed heartily to mask the fact that they were suffering intense burns on national television.
Watch the whole clip, captured on Jezebel, below: