White House Correspondents’ Dinner 2022: Comedies & Controversies

Daniel Stell, Managing Editor

After a long wait, the White House Correspondents Dinner of 2022 has happened, and with it comes many funny and awkward moments. Comedians such as Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show on Comedy Central, got on stage and made some interesting remarks towards the Biden administration and even Joe Biden himself. Biden was there, as well as many celebrities, journalists, and politicians affiliated with Biden. 

A celebrity couple that caused both excitement and outrage due to their presence at the dinner was Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian. This strange power couple has been surprising everyone since they started dating in late 2021. It is not surprising that a celebrity couple appeared but this is different. Controversies and conflicts surround this couple, especially Kim who is still dealing with issues from her ex-husband Kanye West. Their appearance here could act as a solidification of their relationship and that it is in fact real. Other celebrities such as Martha Stewart and Chris Tucker also appeared. 

A running joke that actually became an issue near the end was COVID. A major concern with this party was the possibility of spreading COVID around to everyone who attended. During Biden’s speech, he remarked this was “the nation’s most distinguished superspreader event.” However, this joke became reality, as COVID cases surged after the Correspondents’ Dinner. This should have been seen as inevitable but it could have been much more of a disaster. 

Biden took the time that night to make many remarks about Republican opponents and Russia. When talking about getting vaccinated and boosted, Biden tells the audience “If you’re at home watching this and you’re wondering how to do that, just contact your favorite Fox News reporter.” This was meant to be an attack on the overall anti-vaccination rhetoric commonly portrayed on Fox News, which is notoriously connected to right-wing officials and agendas. Later, when Biden was giving the floor to Trevor Noah to speak, he remarked “Now you get to roast the President of the United States and, unlike in Moscow, you won’t go to jail.” Though this is a funny roast of Russia’s journalism issues, it could also be seen as a direct attack at Russia during a time of great turmoil in Europe. 

Trevor Noah got on stage and did not hesitate to roast President Biden. One of the biggest insults Trevor throughout was when he was talking about Biden saying a few weeks ago that Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, should be removed from office. Trevor remarked that Vladimir was furious “Until someone explained to them that none of the stuff Biden wants actually gets done.” Even though this was a pretty ruthless roast, Biden just sat there and took it like a champ. He even laughed at it. This shows how far we have come from the awkwardness of the last few Correspondents’ Dinners, dealing with how little people could say to one another. Comedians and journalists gained an amazing privilege that night of being able to joke about their leaders and not get any repercussions.