The White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner… could it work in Europe?
WATCH: YouTube: EU Press Corr Dinner?!
I was asked this question not long ago, and – from Merkel to Juncker – my answer was NO! But – by total lack of popular demand – I joined with Boom Chicago and BadaBoom to do one anyway. (I wrote a few jokes, and 1 made it in.)
By definition, the Press Correspondents Dinner is a challenge for politicians because it’s the only time they actually have to tell the truth. In 2015, Barack Obama performed a comedy sketch with ‘Luther the Anger Translator’ and vented some brutally honest anger at Republicans.
And now, there’s one EU country that’s starting its own Press Correspondents’ dinner. But which one?
The Brits are famous for saying, ‘It’s called irony. Or, if you’re American, it’s called The Omega Effect. It goes right over your heads.’
Italian leaders are known for their humor, like Berlusconi humping a female guard in front of the cameras. ‘Hey! Bunga Bunga!’
But no, it turns out it’s the Dutch…
Odd, I know.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. He has tried humor before, like the time he welcomed Barack Obama to a Nuclear Security Summit by explaining the Dutch tradition of dressing up as ‘Black Pete.’
Rutte: ‘My friends in the Dutch Antilles they love Sinterklaas, because they don’t have to paint their faces. And when I’m playing for Black Pete, I’m for days trying to get off the stuff from my face.’
Mark Rutte. Maybe not the most logical choice to try comedy. But as long as he can make fun of himself to start out… Here’s Rutte’s line from the speech.
‘Many journalists say I lack vision. But I don’t see it.’
Ha! He nailed it! You see, it’s funny, because it’s really NOT A JOKE. Rutte really doesn’t have much vision. BUT he did have the balls to stand up and joke about it, and as a result the Netherlands gave him a nice boost in the polls.
So be careful Europe. The precedent has been set. The Dutch have a Press Correspondents’ Dinner. And now it might not be long before .. the Germans.
Merkel: ‘Last night I dreamt about Volkswagen emissions. And when I woke up I was exhausted.’