Larry Wilmore Talks Playing 'Court Jester for the King' at Saturday Night's White House Correspondents' Dinner
The comedian dished on his role for the White House Correspondence
The comedian and host of Comedy Central’s Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore is the featured act at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, where he’ll be “court jester for the king,” he tells The Washington Post. But, he adds, the king should expect to be skewered.
Wilmore is keeping his cards for the dinner close to his vest, but he got some advice from previous WHCD hosts and Washington insiders on Thursday night’s episode of The Nightly Show.
CNN correspondent Jake Tapper joked that Wilmore should ask the president “really tough questions. Because he loves, loves when people ask him really tough questions.” Stephen Colbert simply warned, “Get out of there,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi encouraged Wilmore to “take a page from Donald Trump” and “tell terrific jokes, the most funny jokes.”
In a recent interview with Vogue, Wilmore said his jokes will be edgy but not “mean-spirited.” “It’s more like, keeping it 100. It’s a night when people try to not take themselves too seriously, where you can zing everybody, including the president. That’s the approach that I’m taking: Everybody expects zingers, so I’ll zing.”
Asked by the Post whether Obama “keeps it 100” – Wilmore’s signature catchphrase which essentially means, keep it real – the comedian laughed.
“You and I both know that the president cannot keep it 100,” he said. “The real question is: How close to 100 did he keep? I’d say in the beginning he kept it about 60. He has gotten blacker and blacker in the last four years. He’s been at about 80. Obama don’t care. That’s what we talk about around here. He doesn’t care what you think. All the executive orders he’s issued. At this point, he’s decided to take matters into his own hands.”