RICH LITTLE, SHE ISN’T…. At the 2006 White House Correspondents Association dinner, Stephen Colbert delivered one of the all-time great performances … and was immediately denounced by the establishment for crossing some imaginary lines of propriety (“He criticized Bush, Cheney, and political reporters! Outrageous!”). In 2007, the Correspondents Association turned to Rich Little, the 70-year-old impersonator, who proceeded to do a routine that would have killed in 1977. The Correspondents Association gave Little specific instructions about not criticizing Bush or the war in Iraq, which ensured the dullest possible entertainment.
To its credit, event organizers saw the value in bringing some “edge” back to the event, and invited Wanda Sykes to host this year, the first woman comedian to m.c. in 16 years.
In one of the more memorable moments, Sykes noted some of the president’s biggest critics. “Rush Limbaugh said this administration fails,” she said. “He just wants the country to fail. To me that’s treason. He’s not saying anything different than what Osama Bin Laden is saying. You might want to look into this, sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight.” After excessive groaning, Sykes asked, “Too much?”
She added, “Rush Limbaugh, ‘I hope the country fails.’ I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a good waterboarding, that’s what he needs.”
Sykes went on to note that Sarah Palin pulled out of last night’s dinner “at the last minute.” Sykes added, “You know, somebody should tell her, that’s not how you really practice abstinence.”
When some started booing, Sykes said, “Oh, shut up. You gonna be telling that one tomorrow.”
Rich Little, she isn’t.