Sunday, April 29, 2018


"Mother Nature is a woman because she’s trying to kill us in the most passive aggressive way possible. She’s like, ‘What? I raised the temperature a little. Maybe I wouldn’t have if you had taken out the recycling like I asked.’”

OK, so I love Michelle Wolf. Let's just come right out and say it. I think she's the best thing on the current iteration of the Daily Show—I like the whole thing fine, and I'm especially fond of Roy Wood Jr., but I think Michelle Wolf is truly gifted, funny, and original, deeply daring on subjects of sex and race, with a range from Gracie Allen ditzy to Stephen Colbert brutal, sometimes within the compass of a single clause, and always with that that Pennsylvania bray and  lunatic smile, like an overmedicated ten-year-old narrating the school pageant.

So in the first place I can't imagine why the White House Correspondents' Association offered her the gig at all, if only because she's so unpredictable. This is somebody who can start off sounding scholarly, though silly, on the Second Amendment, and veer into what seems like an approbation of "slave sex" before you know it. Did they watch any of her work? Or did they just Google "woman under 40 because #MeToo", the way Jared Kushner discovered Trump's expert on the China trade, the unspeakable Peter Navarro?

So if you think the routine wasn't her best work, I'm OK with that. I really think she's at her best in short bits with a straight man like Trevor, and I think she was creatively inhibited by the rigorous form of the thing, with its mandatory one-liners for each of 40 or 50 of the more famous guests.

Colbert in 2006 managed to break that thing, in a way that can never be repeated. Just watched it again for the first time in quite a while, and found myself unexpectedly very moved at the bit toward the end in his "audition tape" for the press secretary's job, where the late Helen Thomas chases him out of the White House demanding to be told why the US invaded Iraq. That's surely one of the greatest pieces of television in the history of the technology. But just don't blame Michelle Wolf, OK?

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