Hasan Minhaj’s Best Zingers at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

The “Daily Show” correspondent didn’t hold back, roasting the Trump administration and the media who showed up

Last Updated: April 29, 2017 @ 10:40 PM

Hasan Minhaj went all out at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, aka the Nerd Prom, Saturday night, roasting Trump, his administration and all the journalists who showed up with no hesitation.

It was a half hour of non-stop zingers shot in all directions, pulling no punches. Below you’ll find a pile of Minhaj’s best zingers from the evening, arranged int he order in which he said them.

“Welcome to the series finale of the White House Correspondents Dinner. My name is Hasan Minhaj or as I’ll be known in a few weeks, 830287.”

“I would say it’s an honor to be here but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one wanted to do this. So of course it lands in the hands of the immigrant. That’s how it always goes down. No one wanted this gig. No one. Don Rickles died just so you wouldn’t ask him to do this gig. RIP to Don Rickles, the only Donald with skin thick enough to take a joke like that.”

“Tonight is about defending the First Amendment and the free press and I am truly honored to be here, even though all of Hollywood pulled out now that King Joffrey is president and it feels like the Red Wedding in here.”

“We got to address the elephant that’s not in the room. The leader of our country is not here. And that’s because he lives in Moscow. It’s a very long flight. It’d be hard for Vlad to make it. Vlad can’t make it on a Saturday! It’s a Saturday! As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can’t take a joke.”

“A lot of people told me, ‘Hasan, if you go after the administration it would be petty, unfair and childish.’ In other words, presidential.”

“A lot of people in the media say that Donald Trump goes golfing too much. Which raises a very important question: why do you care? Do you want to know what he’s not doing when he’s golfing? Being president. Let the man putt putt. Keep him distracted. Teach him how to play badminton. Play him in tic tac toe. The longer you keep him distracted, the longer we’re not at war with North Korea. Every time Donald Trump goes golfing, the headline should read ‘Trump golfing, apocalypse delayed.’ Take the W.”

“You know Donald Trump doesn’t drink, right? Does not touch alcohol, which is oddly respectable. But think about that. That means every statement, every interview, every tweet: completely sober. How is that possible? We’ve all had that excuse. We’ve all said ‘What no, listen, babe, I was hammered, that’s not who I really am’. What does Donald Trump tell Melania? ‘Listen, last year on the bus with Billy Bush, that’s exactly who I am.’ He tweets at 3 a.m. sober. Who is tweeting at 3 a.m. sober? Donald Trump because it’s 10 a.m. in Russia. Those are business hours.”

“The news coming out of the White House is so stressful. I’ve been watching ‘House of Cards’ just to relax. Just like, oh man, a congressman pushing a journalist in front of a moving train? That’s quaint.”

“Betsy DeVos is not here. She’s busy curating her collection of children’s tears.”

“Hey, has anyone seen Rick Perry since he became energy secretary?”

“A lot of people think Steve Bannon is the reason Donald Trump dog whistles to racists. That’s not true. Ask Steve Bannon. Is he here? I do not see Steve Bannon. I do not see Steve Bannon. Not see Steve Bannon. Not see Steve Bannon. Not see Steve Bannon.” [The joke being that “not see” sounds like “Nazi.”]

“Mike Pence wanted to be here tonight but his wife wouldn’t let him because apparently one of you ladies is ovulating. So good job, because of you we couldn’t hangout with Mike Pence.”

“Jeff Sessions couldn’t be here tonight. He was busy doing a pre-Civil War reenactment. On his RSVP he just wrote no. Just no! Which happens to be his second favorite ‘n’ word.”

“Sean Spicer gives press briefings like someone is going through his browser history while he watches. Just panicked like ‘no, wait, stop it, stop it, stop shaking your head.’ We’ll talk about this tomorrow. It is the best. “Now you guys are laughing but realize he’s been doing PR since 1999. He has been doing this 18 years and somehow after 18 years his go-to move when you ask him a tough question is denying the Holocaust. That is insane. How many people do you know that can turn a press briefing about nothing into a full-on Mel Gibson traffic stop?”

“It was all fun and games with Obama, right? You were covering an adult who could speak English. And now you’ve got to take your game to a whole new level. It’s like if a bunch of stripper cops had to solve a real-life murder.”

“Fox News is here. I’m amazed you even showed up. How are you here in public?”

“I like to watch Fox News for the same reason I liking to play ‘Call of Duty.’ I like the turn my brain off and watch strangers insult my family and heritage.”

“MSNBC’s here tonight. That way if I’m bombing, Brian Williams will describe it as stunning.”

“I had a lot more MSNBC jokes but I don’t want to just ramble on, otherwise I might get a show on MSNBC.”

“‘CNN Tonight’ should be called ‘Wait a Second, Stop Yelling at Each Other with Don Lemon.'”

“If you want to survive the age of Trump, you have to think like a minority. Now that you’re a minority, oh man, everyone is going to expect you to be the mouthpiece for the entire group. So I hate to say it, but somewhere right now, all of you are being represented by Geraldo Rivera. See, now that you are truly a minority there’s a distorted version of you out there. You know, Taco Bell for Mexican culture, Panda Express for Chinese culture, Huffington Post for journalism. And then when you actually manage to do great work, you get hit with the most condescending line in the English language: ‘Hey, you’re actually one of the good ones.’ Then you have to smile and say thank you. Kind of sucks, doesn’t it? By the way, you guys aren’t really minorities. You guys are super white. But I can see MSNBC being like ‘We got the minority card!'”

“I was asked to not roast the president and the administration in their absentia, and I completely understand that. We are in a very strange situation where there’s a very combative relationship between the press and the president, but now that you guys are minorities, just for this moment, you might understand the position I was in and it’s the same position a lot of minority kids feel in this country. It’s ‘do I come up here and just try to fit in and not ruffle any feathers’ or ‘do I say how I really feel?’ Because this event is about celebrating the First Amendment and free speech. Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy. From college campuses to the White House. Only in America can a first generation Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president. The orange man behind the Muslim ban.”

“The president didn’t show up because Donald Trump doesn’t care about free speech. The man who tweets everything that enters his head refuses to acknowledge the amendment that allows him to do it. Think about it. It’s almost, what is it, 11? It’s 11 p.m. right now. In four hours, Donald Trump will be tweeting about how bad Nikki Minaj bombed at this dinner and he will be doing it completely sober. And that’s his right. And I’m proud that all of us are here tonight to defend that right, even if the man in the White House never would.”


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