Daily Show senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj took on the most thankless job in comedy Saturday night, appearing at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association awards dinner. It was especially thankless this year: Donald Trump, famously skewered by President Obama and Seth Meyers in 2011, decided to skip it, and Samantha Bee threw her own competing event the same night. Nevertheless, Minhaj persisted, and you can watch his complete remarks above.
The only way to successfully host an event like the WHCD—as Stephen Colbert and Larry Wilmore demonstrated in their respective outings—is to address the room’s unique concentration of power and obliviousness with the contempt it deserves. Minhaj got the spirit of the thing right, but, operating at a huge disadvantage without the president or the usual nerd-prom celebrities there to roast, didn’t afflict the comfortable as efficiently or hilariously as his fellow Daily Show veterans. Still, he did score a few shocked silences and appalled gasps, which in that room mean a lot more than laughs. So here are some of the jokes that bombed hardest, which is another way of saying they’re most likely to be true: