In a roast done right everything is in-bounds — except for mothers, which means Wanda Sykes uncovered an important truth at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday: Rush Limbaugh is the Republican Party’s mama.
On Saturday, Sykes became the first African-American woman and first openly gay person to ever perform at the annual dinner. It was such a groundbreaking event that some people wondered beforehand if the comedian would tone down her often caustic wit. She didn’t. She poked fun at President Obama to general laughter and applause, and then she set her scope on conservative political pundit Rush Limbaugh.
In response to Limbaugh’s recent comments that he hopes President Obama’s policies fail, Sykes said, “Maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight … l hope this country fails? I hope his kidney fails!”
The joke was met with a mix of laughter and boos. “Too much?” Sykes asked, but she kept at it.
She derided Sean Hannity for not living up to his commitment to be water boarded for the troops. And she slammed Sarah Palin for her views on abstinence education, making a hilariously off-color joke about pulling out at the last minute.
If the internet is fueled by controversy, the Correspondents’ Dinner has given it enough energy to run for a month. (The Sykes Twitter feed has been updated 560 times since I started typing this post!) Conservative commentators are outraged by Sykes’ remark about Limbaugh, and even more infuriated that President Obama guffawed at it. Most liberal commentators are suggesting that the point of this sort of thing is below-the-belt shots, and that Colbert was much more acerbic in 2006.
You can watch part of Sykes performance below:
Every news blog in the world is covering Sykes this morning, and out of the two dozen I read, only one mentioned her sexuality. Of course, Limbaugh hasn’t taken the air yet, so who knows what kind of gay/monster correlations he’ll make this afternoon.
The only thing that would have made me like Sykes speech more is if she’d gone Michael Scott on every person after taking a jab at them. “Boom! Roasted!“
What do you think of Sykes’ speech? Funny or out-of-bounds?