Standup comic Pete Dominick joins me to dissect Michelle Wolf’s routine at the recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Why now? Because this Sunday, May 27th, Wolf’s new series, The Break, debuts on Netflix. That’s just as good an excuse as any. Dominick, with Wolf as a launching point, helps make us all more astute observers of the art of comedy. Among the issues we discuss: using the P word, punching up versus punching down, and what it was like being in the room during Wolf’s speech. Pete also takes a swing at my tennis coach in Georgia, who didn’t like Wolf’s routine. I gave Coach Ross air time to swing back. Is that punching up or down? Warning: contains some explicit language.
Here is Michelle Wolf’s entire performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Most people have only heard clips. Here is all of it – 19 minutes and roughly 50 jokes – unedited. This is the beginning of a broader mission on Wavemaker: exploring the deeper significance of comedy – from ancient Greece to the 2018 mid-term elections and beyond. What’s funny? Why? Can comedy enable Americans of divergent political perspectives to laugh – together? Should that even be its goal? Those are just a few of the questions I’ll be pursuing with future guests (one of whom you’ll get to sample at the end of this episode) from my perspective as both a journalist and the son of a standup comic. Warning: the language in this routine gets very explicit.