The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner is an annual white-tie affair held in New York City to raise money for Catholic Charities. It features the who’s who of the New York elite and since John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon first spoke at the dinner in 1960, it has been a light-hearted rite of passage for presidential candidates heading into the homestretch every four years.
Usually candidates take a self-deprecating approach to their speeches and the roast is more Kiwanis Club than it is Comedy Central. This year, however, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took quite a few liberties with that theme and traded barbs loosely cloaked in often poor humor. Trump’s performance even elicited boos from the crowd, which was probably a first for the dinner.
Here are the best jokes that you didn’t hear, but perhaps should have.
- “Most of you had to pay to be here tonight. But as a guest of honor my invite was free. This is good, because I didn’t want to break my streak of not giving money to charities.”
- “If you can’t hear me in the back, it is because they borrowed this microphone from the first presidential debate.”
- “My running mate, Mike Pence, wasn’t able to make it. He declined the invitation, saying he would need at least two full days preparing for the Sunday shows to explain what I really meant in this speech.”
- “You may not know this about me, but the only thing that stopped me from becoming a Cardinal was those hats. I mean, what a sin it would have been to have this covered up my whole life.”
- “I’ll admit, I was a little confused when the waiter earlier asked if I wanted fish or chicken. I told him it’s actually pronounced ‘Long John Silvers’ and ‘Popeyes.'”
- “I was a little nervous when I heard the dress code for tonight was ‘white tie.’ Jake Tapper, if you’re listening, ‘I disavow.'”
“You may notice Bill isn’t here with me tonight. If he were he would’ve sat right there next to me and Donald, but I decided I could wait 3 more months to hear Donald say “Hi, President Clinton.”
Mic drop. HRC out.
Follow on Twitter @EighteenthandU