The Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj took on Washington, its journalists and, of course, President Trump at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
During his speech at the annual event, Minhaj was sure to kick off his speech by poking fun at the president, who did not attend the event.
“Welcome to the series finale of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” he began. "Historically the president usually performs at the WHCD, but I think I speak for all of us when I say, he’s done far too much bombing this month.“
By not attending, Trump has become the first sitting president to miss the event since President Ronald Reagan, who called in to the dinner after being shot in an assassination attempt. White House staff followed Trump’s decision in skipping the event, saying they would not be there in "solidarity” with the president.
Though Trump and his White Staff elected not to attend, there were plenty of targets for the emcee in the crowd, including Fox News, CNN, Bill O'Reilly, even Hillary Clinton. Below are just a few of his targets.
1. Fox News
Minhaj started his tirade against the network, saying, “I’m surprised you guys even showed up. How are you here in public? It’s hard to trust you guys when you backed a man like Bill O'Reilly for years. It finally happened. Bill O'Reilly has been fired. But then, you gave him a $25 million severance package, making it the only package he won’t force a woman to touch. In O'Reilly’s defense he was told by a close friend, ‘when you’re a star they let you do it, you can do anything.’ ”
The Daily Show’s senior correspondent then went in on another Fox News anchor making headlines: “Jesse Watters is 'on a break right now.’ Just like my childhood dog is staying at a farm upstate.”
“It is 2017 and we are living in the golden age of lying. Donald Trump is liar-in-chief and you guys are public enemy No. 1,” Minhaj told the members of the press.
“We’ve 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.”
“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. In four hours, Donald Trump will be tweeting about how bad Nicki Minaj bombed at this dinner, and he’ll be doing it completely sober.”
“I’m not going to call you fake news, but everything isn’t breaking news. Every time a story breaks you guys go to nine screens. I’m trying to watch the news not pick a player in Street Fighter.”
4. Steve Bannon
“Now a lot people think Steve Bannon is the reason Donald Trump dog whistles to racists and that is just not true, just ask Steve Bannon. Is Steve Bannon here? I do not see Steve Bannon. I do not see Steve Bannon. I do Nazi Steve Bannon. I do Nazi Steve Bannon."
5. Sean Spicer
"Sean Spicer is not here tonight because I think he’s at home Googling how to fake his own death.”
“Sean Spicer’s been doing PR since 1999. He’s been doing this job for 18 years and somehow his go-to move when someone asks him a tough question is denying the Holocaust. How many people do you know that can turn a press briefing into a full-on Mel Gibson traffic stop? Only the Spice-man.”
“MSNBC please tell Rachel Maddow to chill about Trump’s tax returns, I don’t know what you think you’ll find in there but there isn’t going to be a line item that just says bribes from Russia.”
“You were the liberal news outlet. I want to root for you guys but you’re turning into conspiracy theorists.”
“I had a lot of MSNBC jokes but I don’t want to ramble on because I might get a show on MSNBC.”
7. USA Today
The host started his “Every time a USA Today slides underneath my door it’s like they’re saying 'hey you’re not that smart right?’ USA Today is what happens when the coupon section takes over the newspaper. Is this an article about global warming or 50 cents off Tide?”
8. Hillary Clinton
“Even Hillary Clinton couldn’t be here tonight. She could have been here but I think someone told her the even was in Wisconsin and Michigan.”
9. The press at large
“Remember election night? That was your Steve Harvey Miss Universe moment. The look on your faces at 11 p.m. on election night was like walking into Panera Bread and finding out your sixth grade teacher has a part-time job there.”
10. …Even Don Rickles.
Minaj began his guest host speech by saying, “I would say its an honor to be here but that would be an alternative fact, it is not, no one wanted to do this. 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."
Minhaj hosted the annual event the year after Larry Wilmore emceed, following late-night hosts and SNL alums, including Seth Meyers, Cecily Strong and Joel McHale.