After I've "hounded" Governor Chris Christie, perhaps more than any other hound dog here, and not always with as much kindness as I should have, let me be the first to congratulate him for his gracious handling of being the butt of some sharp jokes at last night's White House Correspondents' dinner.
Watching the event live on TV last night took my breath away as Joel McHale skewered poor Governor Christie by using two fairly quickly delivered jokes, one the bridge closing, and one on his weight as a set-up trick At first, the audience groaned as if to say, "oh, no, Joel, you can't really be going for the weight jokes, can you?"
But, Joel was craftily setting us up for a devastatingly targeted and funny send up of Christie's response to the Bridgegate scandal, summing it up better than any one yet - certainly better than anything I've written.
Mollie Reilly offers us this
recap of that section:
While McHale also went for a weight joke, his barbs were more sharply pointed at the governor's handling of the Bridgegate scandal.
"Governor, do you want bridge jokes or size jokes? 'Cause I’ve got a bunch of both. I could go half and half. I know you like a combo platter," McHale said. "Now, I get that. I’m sorry for that joke, Governor Christie. I didn’t know I was going to tell it but I take full responsibility for it. Whoever wrote it, will be fired. But the buck stops here. So, I will be a man and own up to it, just as soon as I get to the bottom of how it happened because I was unaware it happened until just now."
The crowd erupted into what was one of the loudest rounds of laughter and applause of the Joel McHale received. My heart went out to Governor Christie as it was agonizing. One could feel the whole crowd felt this pain. It felt a lot longer in "real-time" than it does to read here.
This morning after reading Kia Makarechi of Vanity Fair reports Governor Chris Christie and Joel McHale kiss and make up at the Vanity Fair - Bloomberg White House Correspondents' Association Party...sort of my impression is that Governor Christie comes of the better for it, appearing gracious, funny, thick skinned, and looking sharp, having lost over 100 pounds in the last year after his lap band surgery. I wish I looked this good. One of my doctors asked me to consider this.
I have to admit being unfavorably compared to Governor Christie and having him held up as a role model to emulate brings up certain unresolved issues for me. Let me thank all of you in advance for not razzing me about it. By the way, my diet is going well, although, as some of you may have noticed I gave up my manic "writing-binge-diet" last week after losing 18 pounds, and cut my posting by about half. It was working pretty well to keep my mind off of food, but cutting into my spare time so much I haven't been getting enough of my real work done.
Whatever.. back to our story. We have to hand it to this fellow, Christie. For whatever other flaws and transgressions he may guilty over the alleged political abuses involved in the George Washington Bridge lane closings, and Mayor Dawn Zimmer's allegations about being pressured with regard to funding for Hoboken, he is certainly is able to take a joke and be gracious about it.
It was a good night to be at Villa Firenze, the residence of the Italian ambassador in Washington, D.C. Power players from the worlds of politics, show business, media, and tech descended on the 22-acre grounds for the Vanity Fair/Bloomberg after-party for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and even Chris Christie—freshly roasted by Joel McHale—was in fine spirits.
“You know, to me, this is the best part of it, because you can actually see people and talk to them,” Christie said. “The dinner is just so big that, unless they’re at one of the tables around you, you don’t get to see anyone.”
And what about McHale, whose comedy returned repeatedly to Christie’s weight and recent traffic-related mishaps? “Listen, I thought he was great, and that’s exactly what I expected,” Christie said. “I thought he was really funny, and not just about me, but about everybody.” The governor’s all-time favorite W.H.C.D. moment, however, came in 2012, when Modern Family star Sofia Vergara—who was holding court not far from Christie on Saturday night—told Christie not to worry about then-host Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes at his expense. “She was talking to me and said, ‘Don’t listen to him, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’ And I said, ‘Listen to him? I can’t even hear anything but you!.’”
When you look at the photo of Governor Christie gesturing to "bring it on," with Joel McCale looking so sharp in his Tuxedo after such a viscous skewering, we have to give him credit. I also understand now why so many in the Republican establishment want, or wanted, he to be the their 2016 G.0.P. presidential nominee. The man has grit and charm. If he didn't have these Bridgegate allegations hanging like an albatross around his neck, he would be a formidably contender I'm not certain we could beat.
Now that fate has cast him in the role of a sympathetic underdog we may have to be more careful in how we report the developing stories with regard to the "allegations" related to the George Washington Bridge lane closings so as not to create "harmonic resonance" on this "sympathetic underdog frequency" he has shown he knows how to play well and has a built in sympathetic audience cheering for him.