While President Obama received rave reviews for his final White House Correspondents dinner speech, host Larry Wilmore closed out his remarks with a joke that left the mostly-white audience choking on their champagne.
As he wrapped up his performance, the comedian reflected on experiencing the nation’s first black presidency.
“When I was a kid I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a black quarterback,” Wilmore said. “Now think about that: A black man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team. And now to live in your time, Mr. President, when a black man can lead the entire free world.”
What started off as an innocent anecdote then took a sharp left turn.
“Words alone do me no justice. So Mr. President I’m going to keep it 100… Yo Barry, you did it my n-gg-,” Wilmore said, pounding his chest with his fist. “You did it.”
— The Nightly Show (@nightlyshow) May 1, 2016
As expected, people had a lot to say:
I wish white people were as offended by police brutality and mass incarceration as they are by black people using the N-word. #WHCD
— Brandon E. Patterson (@myblackmindd) May 1, 2016
Piers Morgan’s next troll piece just wrote itself
— John Legend (@johnlegend) May 1, 2016
Chin up, Larry Wilmore. History might vindicate your speech — like Stephen Colbert’s https://t.co/MIEGMxDMEe
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) May 2, 2016
This is exactly the acid, uncomfortable routine that room deserved. Well done, Larry Wilmore. https://t.co/qVPaxspj2R
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) May 1, 2016