Donald Trump is not as funny as he probably thinks he is. In fact, if his cheap, dramatic shots at Hillary Clinton during the Al Smith Dinner are any indication, the Republican nominee really needs to work on his “jokes.”
For years, the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in Manhattan, New York, has been a reprieve from all the mud slinging and the name-calling on the campaign trail. It gave the two presidential nominees a last chance to share a stage to tell some lighthearted jokes about each other and just have a good time.
Not this year.
Almost 24 hours after their final presidential debate in Las Vegas, Clinton and Trump once again traded sharp barbs and cut-throat punch lines, though this time in a room full of high-powered political and media figures at a white-tie benefit held for a Catholic charity.
The Republican nominee, also the first to speak at the Al Smith dinner, took this opportunity to unleash a torrent of very personal attacks (and very-not-lighthearted) attacks on his Democratic rival. If anything, his supposedly funny roast resembled to how he usually talks about Clinton at his campaign rallies.
“We have proven that we can actually be civil to each other,” he began. “In fact, just before taking the dais Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said, ‘pardon me.’”
Although the media mogul managed to get some good self-deprecating jokes in there, by the end of his roast, the New York elites were booing Trump.
“A lot of people have said that modesty is perhaps my best quality,” the former reality star exclaimed. “Even better than my temperament,” he continued, before commenting, “Oof, this is corny stuff.”
While Clinton took a different tone and delivered some hilarious zingers, Trump’s (few) best jokes of the night came at the expense of his own wealthy upbringing.
“I come into this event with a little bit of an advantage, because I know that so many of you in the archdiocese already have a place in your heart for a guy who started out as a carpenter, working for his father,” Trump said to a laughing crowd.
It all went downhill from there.
The GOP candidate was heckled at least six times as he slammed the former secretary of state over a variety of things ranging from her private email server, Wikileaks revelations, her paid speeches and the Clinton Foundation.
“We’ve learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it is vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private,” Trump said, drawing boos. “That’s OK, I don’t know who they’re angry at, Hillary, you or I.”
Here a few other stump jokes from the night.
“Here she is tonight in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.”
“Everyone knows, of course, Hillary has believed that ‘it takes a village.’ Which only makes sense, after all, in places like Haiti, where she has taken a number of them.”
“One of the things I noticed tonight, and I’ve known Hillary for a long time, is this is the first time ever that Hillary Clinton is sitting down and speaking to major donors without getting paid for it.”
“Now, if some of you have not noticed, Hillary is not laughing as much as the rest of us. That’s because she knows the jokes. All of the jokes were given to her in advance of the dinner by Donna Brazile.” Brazile is the interim chair for the Democratic National Committee and accused of passing a likely question to Clinton before a Democratic primary town hall debate.
'Booed by a Room Full of Priests' sounds like a title to a punk record not a GOP pres nominee charity dinner headline #AlSmithDinner— Kyle Smith (@kylewyep913) October 21, 2016