Rebecca Paller

Associate Curator

May 3, 2011

Post-Roast Donald

by Rebecca Paller

The ending of Sunday night’s Celebrity Apprentice was pre-empted due to President Obama’s announcement on the death of Osama bin Laden. All in all, it wasn’t a very good weekend for “The Donald.” On Saturday night he was viciously mocked at the White House Correspondent's Dinner by SNL’s Seth Meyers and also by President Obama. And Mr. Trump, sitting there and looking for all the world like Queen Victoria, was definitely not amused.

Seth Meyers ticking off “The Donald”

The day after the dinner Mr. Trump claimed on Fox News that he had “no idea what I was getting into—joke after joke.” He seemed especially angry that Meyers had attacked his bridge-and-tunnel demeanor, and countered by calling Meyers a stutterer—sounding exactly like the childhood bully he used to be and apparently still is. (Mr. Trump, you might recall, was pulled out of public school in Forest Hills and sent to the New York Military Academy, where they attempted to drill some manners into him.)
Donald Trump responds the next day on Fox News

Trump deserved every single barb that came his way on Saturday night. His relentless hounding of the president to release a full birth certificate was disgusting and reeked of prejudice.
March 23 Donald Trump on “The View”

Just as fashion designer John Galliano was sacked by Christian Dior for anti-Semitic remarks that he made in a restaurant, Trump should be sacked by network television for his blatant racism. Though he calls himself a “conservative with a big heart,” his heart appears to be filled with nothing but bile.

  • I'm going to pass over Trump and recall a real, honest roast. Johnny Carson was guest of honor ("pigeon") at a televised Friar's Club Roast a long while back and it was so successful that Dean Martin's company started a series, without the Friars sign.

    I think the roast began, at least among comedians, as an attempt to send up testimonial dinners, a long gone social institution. At the Friars Club, professional comedians "honored" the guest of honor with school yard and street "rank-outs" and ridiculous insults.

    Carson got his from none other than Groucho Marx who was serving as the Friar's historian for the occasion.

    If I remember correctly, Groucho started by saying he made a trip to Johnny's hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. "There I met Johnny's mother, and I'm glad to say she still remembers Johnny. She doesn't remember Johnny's father at all, but she remembers Johnny."

    Then I met Johnny's third grade teacher. She doesn't remember Johnny at all -- but she remembers Johnny's father."

    This reduced everyone to hysterics. The insults were ridiculous because everyone knew that Carson's parents had been married all the way through his growing up, I think.

    The jokes were exaggerated but considerably cleaner for television than they would have been for a private dinner at the Friars Club.

    sjb1956, July 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm


Rebecca Paller

Associate Curator


Before joining the Paley Center in 2000, Rebecca Paller was associate editor of Where Magazine in New York and Northern Ohio Live in Cleveland. She has written about the arts for publications including Opera News, American Theatre, Vogue, and Playbill.


Performing Arts


Rebecca Paller

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