Did You Guys Hear About Michelle Wolf?

This past Saturday, April 28, 2018 Michelle Wolf hosted the White House Correspondence Dinner. I’m certain many of you have heard a laundry list of things that were said or done by Wolf and have read pieces on the backlash. Some of you who wanted to hear the jokes directly from the source may have even watched her performance and are wondering what all the fuss is about. I certainly fall into the later camp. For those who are outraged and aren’t sure why, or those that would like a great laugh, her performance can be found here. 

There is a danger to policing words and creating these social rules of things you can and cannot say. The world is an uncomfortable place and it is only in that discomfort where growth can happen. You will never evolve your beliefs if your beliefs are never challenged. 

This has been a growing issue long before last Saturday night. The divide between what the right and left side of the aisle are willing to hear has become a chasm. The left and right are so far apart they can’t even see how similar they have become. Liberals believe they have this premium on morality and every thought they have must be the right one. Not realizing their sweeping generalization of every Republican as a white nationalist nazi is the very same kind of stereotype they work so tireless to put an end to. Conservatives love to chastise liberals for being “snowflakes” and getting so easily offended as they go running to the media about how a comedian telling jokes was too hard on them. Now, again, none of this should relate to Michelle Wolf’s monologue because SHE WAS TELLING JOKES. 

I think this goes without saying but Michelle Wolf is a comedian. She makes jokes. That is her job. Not only should that have been apparent going in, but as Wolf starts her monologue she begins by saying “I am here to make jokes.” There is no misunderstanding of intent or context. She is a comedian. She said the words “these are jokes.” And there are still people reacting like she intended to hurt those she joked about, or she was too hard on people. We now live in a world where a politician can say truly outrageous things, and be immediately forgiven by using the scapegoat “I was joking!” Now, seemingly, when jokes couldn’t be more clear there is debate on whether Wolf was serious. Nothing good comes from politicizing every conversation we have. Sometimes a joke is just a joke. I applaud Wolf for many reasons, but first and foremost, she signed up to do a job and she did it. Very well I might add. 

The bulk of the protest with Wolf’s jokes stemmed from her jokes about Sarah Huckabee-Sanders. Wolf is telling jokes for over 19 minutes, but most of the complaints come from the just under 90 seconds she spends on Huckabee-Sanders. The main gripe being Wolf made fun of Huckabee-Sanders makeup and appearance, which is not completely accurate. Wolf did comment on Huckabee-Sanders makeup. She referred to to the press secretary’s smoky eye as “perfect”. That high praises is then followed by a joke about the job Huckabee-Sanders has done (or not done) and how Wolf doesn’t think Huckabee-Sanders has been a good role model for white women. A joke, by the way, which has a punchline directed at Anne Coulter. All the jokes about any women’s physical attributes are directed back onto Wolf herself. Wolf makes fun of herself for the sound of her own voice (says she should have been a mime) and they way she looks (refers to her self as “Michelle Jokes Frizzy Hair Small Tits”). So I’d say at the very least she was being fair. 

There are a few things worth highlighting from Wolf’s performance even aside from the quality of the jokes. For starters, Michelle Wolf was unequivocally and unapologetically herself. If you don’t know Wolf’s previous work you’d be delighted to familiarize yourself. She has a fantastic hour special on HBO called Nice Lady. Having previously seen her hour, I was glad to see that Wolf didn’t compromise her voice, even on a stage like WHCD. She told the kinds of jokes she enjoys and the kinds of jokes she’s best at. She gave the full Michelle Wolf experience. And perhaps the greatest thing of all to come out of this, Wolf was questioned about her jokes and she responded “I wouldn’t take a single word back.” It is very refreshing to see someone in the public eye with a backbone. I hope the politicians who were oh so offended by a comedians comments take a page from her book and learn to stick to their principles. 

As always, thank you for reading and happy #MillenialFriday Please like, comment, share, enjoy the weather, drink a spritzer, and have a good one. Take care.