While the White House Correspondents’ Association held its annual dinner last night, Full Frontal host Samantha Bee threw her own event, Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and used sketches based on The Man in the High Castle, The West Wing, and SNL to lambaste the Trump administration.
The most elaborate of the sketches came from Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, an alternate history show set in a timeline in which Japan and Germany won the Second World War. In it, Bee receives a film reel from a frightened George Takei, which turns out to be a video of an alternate timeline in which Hillary Clinton won the election in November, and in which Bee hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. (William Gibson had a similar idea for his upcoming science fiction novel.)
There were parodies from other television shows as well. Allison Janney opened the evening by reprising White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg from The West Wing, who contended with a briefing room full of alt-right Breitbart bloggers, radical survivalists, and Skype reporters. Will Farrell also stopped by to bring back his George W. Bush impression from Saturday Night Live.
Bee used all three shows roast the Trump administration for things like changes in the White House briefing room, hiring relatives for key administration positions, and even the nostalgia that some have felt for George W. Bush’s time in the Oval Office.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner typically sees the White House press corps, celebrities, and administration staffers mingling in an evening of humor directed at the sitting president. Hasan Minhaj of The Daily Show hosted this year’s event, poking fun at some of the same things (dropping his own topical references). While most presidents have attended, President Donald Trump elected not to attend this year, opting instead to hold a rally in Pennsylvania.