Wanda Sykes vs. Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Dick Cheney

In the history of comedians at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, nothing will rival the jaw-dropping brilliance of Stephen Colbert's relentless skewering of George Bush in 2006. Hurling a series of no-holds-barred criticisms and sharp insults—while Bush could do nothing more than sit and watch—Colbert's performance was a sublime act of comic genius. (If you haven't seen it before, watch here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)

While no subsequent Correspondents' Dinner can ever be as memorable, Wanda Sykes did a bang-up job this past weekend, delivering 15 minutes of feisty political comedy that reminded me of why I love her so much. Watch:

And the rest of performance is here:

My favorite bits:

  • "I know Governor Palin—she's not here tonight. She pulled out at the last minute.... You know, somebody should tell her that's not really how you practice abstinence." After the audience reacts uncomfortably, Sykes quips, "Ah, shut up, you're gonna be telling that one tomorrow."
  • "Rush Limbaugh, one of your big critics, boy, Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails. You know, so you're saying, 'I hope America fails.' It's like, 'I don't care about people losing their homes or their jobs, our soldiers in Iraq.' He just wants the country to fail. To me, that's treason. He's not saying anything differently than what Osama bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was just so strung out on Oxycotin he missed his flight...." That probably got the biggest reaction of the night.
  • "Dick Cheney, oh my god, he's a scary man. Scares me to death. I tell my kids, I said, 'Look, if two cars pull up and one has a stranger and the other car has Dick Cheney, you get in the car with the stranger."

[Thanks to The Bilerico Project for posting the videos.]


  1. I felt bad for the President because it was one of those moments where he wanted to laugh out loud, but had to keep it under control. Awkward.

    That having been said, her roasting of the bloated, pill-popping, frothing-at-the-mouth, knuckle-dragging, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, bullying megalomaniac that is Rush Limbaugh was spot on!

    Go Wanda!

  2. She's so feisty! Love love love.

  3. I like Wanda and loathe Rush, but her jokes about him weren't funny to me. 9/11 isn't exactly a hilarious topic. And kidney failure? My dad suffered through that the last three years of his too-short life, and one of my friends is going through it now. Wouldn't wish that on anyone--not even Rush.

  4. I saw that she's receiving some backlash from the routine and the White House is distancing themselves from her. But I'm not sure what they expected from her, really.

  5. I kept thinking of Stephen Colbert... if only the Bushies who got him had thought of Wanda...

    I thought she was relatively gentle, smart as ever, and completely on point.

    If the White House is backing off, it's just a matter of , "We didn't *say* that. (mumble mumble, you can't prove that we thought that mumble)"

    Thank you.