Samantha Bee's Hillary Clinton Sketch During Her Correspondents' Dinner Special Is So Bittersweet
It's safe to say that the 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner is unlike anyone in Washington or in the media has ever seen before, since Donald Trump decided to break with presidential tradition and decline an invitation to attend. So while The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minaj hosts the actual dinner, Full Frontal host Samantha Bee will be bringing her own pointed humor to the proceedings via her Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner special. The show is pre-taped, so journalists from various outlets were on hand to see how Bee would roast the current administration and news is already circulating about the content she provided. It'll definitely be worth tuning in to see the final sequence in its entirety, because Samantha Bee's Hillary Clinton Correspondents' Dinner sketch imagines an alternate universe where the Democratic candidate became the president.
During the show, Bee envisions what it would have been like to be the featured comedian hosting a White House Correspondents' Dinner during one of Ronald Reagan's terms, as well as projecting an idea of how the event would change if Trump resigned or was removed from office and Vice President Mike Pence were in the hot seat. (In the first case, damning jokes about the AIDS crisis; in the second, an unflattering comparison of the current president to Winnie The Pooh.)
But Bee taps into the dashed hopes and desperate daydreams of many a voter with her final Not The White House Correspondents Dinner sketch. I know I'm not the only person watching the festivities and wishing that they were happening under different circumstances. The 2017 WHCD would look a lot different if Hillary Clinton were currently in office.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Star Trek actor and political activist George Takei appears onstage to hand Bee a film reel. It shows another outcome to the 2016 election and indeed, to a few other recent controversial races. (In addition to Clinton winning, "the Patriots lost the Super Bowl, Lemonade won album of the year and every print of La La Land spontaneously combusted.") In some active wish fulfillment, Bee places herself at this imaginary WHCD, lauding some possible achievements from what could have been Clinton's first 100 days, including a majority female cabinet and various "boring" things. (I assume that Bee means "boring" in the good sense, i.e. not actions that would make Americans fear for their healthcare, safety, and civic freedoms.)
In one last satirical monologue, Bee speaks to this alternate universe Clinton and skewers anti-feminist sentiments:
"Because of you, I can tell my daughters they can do anything, and that sexism won’t hold them back. The world will not magnify their faults and ignore their virtues because of their gender. That time has truly passed. No hard feelings, men. If there’s one message that echoes from this dinner, let it be that men’s rights are human rights, and human rights are men’s rights."
Sometimes Bee's comedy is so true and cutting that it's almost hard to laugh at. But at the Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner, her choose-your-own-adventure ending gives many Americans the WHCD they were hoping to see this year.