Michelle Wolf

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Michelle Wolf
Michelle Wolf in 2016.jpg
Wolf in 2016
Born (1985-06-21) June 21, 1985 (age 33)
Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Medium
  • Stand-up
  • television
Alma mater College of William and Mary (BS)
Years active 2014–present
Genres
Subject(s)
Website michelleisawolf.com

Michelle Wolf (born June 21, 1985) is an American comedian, writer, producer, and television host. She worked as a contributor and writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. She spoke as the featured performer at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner. She hosted the Netflix comedy talk show series The Break with Michelle Wolf.

Early life and education[edit]

Wolf was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she grew up with two older brothers.[1][2][3] She graduated from Hershey High School in 2003.[4] She graduated from The College of William & Mary in 2007, where she majored in kinesiology and was a member of the cardiovascular physiology lab.[5][6][7] She was on the track and field team while in high school and college before an injury caused her to stop competing.[5]

Career[edit]

Wolf was employed at Bear Stearns from 2007 to 2008, and later at JPMorgan Chase, working for almost four years in mutual funds and managing accounts[8] between the two banks.[9][10] Around the time of the buyout by JPMorgan, Wolf started improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade and the Peoples Improv Theater (PIT). Her frustration with the imperfect and ephemeral nature of improv and the encouragement from classmates got her to audit a stand-up class at the PIT.[2] Her first appearance on late-night television was in July 2014, when she went on Late Night with Seth Meyers. She re-appeared on numerous segments on Late Night, often as her fictional persona, "Grown-Up Annie", an adult version of Little Orphan Annie. She later held additional positions on the same show, including, most recently, as writing supervisor.[11][12]

In November 2015, Comedy Central released the entirety of Now Hiring, a web series hosted by Wolf, on YouTube.[13] Wolf is a regular at the Comedy Cellar in New York City. In April 2016, she joined The Daily Show with Trevor Noah as a contributor.[14] Wolf has said that she learned a lot about comedy working for Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah.[15]

In August 2016, she performed her stand-up show So Brave at the Edinburgh Festival, which was her first performance outside North America.[16]

Wolf's television work in the United Kingdom also includes an appearance on Live At The Apollo in late 2016 and an appearance as a panelist on the UK comedy game show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown in early 2017, partnering with team captain and British stand-up comedian Jon Richardson. She appeared on the same show later on in the year, this time partnering with Sean Lock. On November 20, 2016, Wolf appeared as a guest on Frankie Boyle's American Autopsy on BBC2, reflecting on the result of the 2016 US Presidential Election.[17] She also appeared on an episode of 8 Out of 10 Cats in January 2017, partnering with English footballer Jermaine Jenas and team captain Rob Beckett.[18] On December 2, 2017, Wolf made her HBO stand-up debut, Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady,[19] which was taped at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City[20] in mid-August 2017,[21] and has received rave reviews highlighting the comedian's ability to keep her jokes fresh while not relying on the news headlines as many comedians have been doing of late.[22][2][23]

2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner appearance[edit]

External video
2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner, April 28, 2018, C-SPAN

On April 28, 2018, Wolf was the featured entertainer[24] at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.[25] U.S. President Donald Trump did not attend the dinner for the second consecutive year,[26] sending Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary.[27]

Wolf delivered a 19-minute comedy routine[28] and was both praised and criticized for her "harsh and stinging" jokes aimed at the Trump administration—most notably at Sanders—and at the media itself.[29][30][31][32] Wolf's criticism of journalism has been called "the most consequential monologue so far of the Donald Trump era."[31] The management of C-SPAN radio considered the monologue so risqué that they stopped broadcasting it half-way through, worrying that she might violate FCC indecency guidelines[33] and that they might get fined.[34] Wolf’s joke about Sanders using the ashes of lies to create her perfect eye makeup became the most controversial issue among the criticisms aimed at Wolf’s presentation:[35]

I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. She burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies.[a] It’s probably lies.[36][37][38]

Journalists including Maggie Haberman of The New York Times,[39][40][41] Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC,[41][42][43][44] and Andrea Mitchell of NBC News,[39] criticized Wolf on Twitter for targeting Sanders. Ed Henry of Fox News stated that "[i]t was disgusting, despicable. Sarah Sanders should get an apology from the White House Correspondents Association… and what a contrast to what the president was doing. Talking about issues people actually care about."[45] CBS News executives reportedly considered ending its participation in future dinners, but later changed its stance after the network was assured that the Correspondents' Association would "seriously consider changes to the dinner's format."[46] Former press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted, "Tonight’s #WHCD was a disgrace"[47][48] to which Wolf replied, "Thank you!"[48][49] The next day, Trump called several outside advisors to criticize the comedian,[33] and he weighed in on Twitter in a series of tweets saying that "so-called comedian"[50] and the "filthy 'comedian' totally bombed"[51] and called for the dinner to be put to rest or start over.[52] He later added the dinner was "DEAD as we know it."[52][53]

Michelle Wolf questioned her critics from the media: "Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials."[41][54] In an interview with Terry Gross on NPR, Wolf said that the joke wasn't about Sanders' looks at all, it was about her lies, and there isn't really a need to defend it in the first place.[55] She said she did not attack any of the women's physical appearances unlike some male politicians such as Mitch McConnell's neck or Chris Christie's weight, but "as a woman, I have access to hit women in a way that men might not be able to hit them with jokes." Talking about her performance, "I wouldn't change a single word that I said. I'm very happy with what I said, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns."[55]

Other journalists, including Jacob Soboroff of NBC News, Joan Walsh of CNN, Amanda Hess of The New York Times, and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post, tweeted their support for Wolf and took the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) to task for the statement issued by its president, Margaret Talev.[56][52] Talev wrote that the program "was meant to offer a unifying message about [the WHCA's] common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people,"[57][58] and that Wolf’s "monologue was not in the spirit of that mission."[56][52][58] James Poniewozik, writing for The New York Times, criticized the WHCA for disavowing Wolf, saying that she was "defending the mission of the White House press: sticking up for the truth. Michelle Wolf had the WHCA’s back Saturday night, even if it didn’t have hers the day after."[59] The New Yorker's Masha Gessen was particularly impressed with Wolf's criticism of journalism, praising her for how she "exposed the obscenity of the fictions" of "The Age of Trump".[31]

Several comedians also came to Wolf's defense, including Jimmy Kimmel,[60] Trevor Noah,[61] Seth Meyers,[62] Adam Conover,[63] Dave Chappelle,[64] Kathy Griffin,[65] Guy Branum,[66] and Anthony Atamanuik.[66] Stephen Colbert, who was the featured entertainer at the 2006 edition of the event, joked on The Late Show, "This is the correspondents’ dinner, celebrating the freedom of speech. You can’t just say whatever you want!"[67][68] Nell Scovell writing for Vulture criticized journalists Haberman, Brzezinski, Mitchell for what Scovell called a "manufactured catfight" between Wolf and Sanders. Describing the ensuing controversy, Scovell wrote, "[w]omen, comedians, and the media all grabbed each other’s hair and threw each other to the floor while men watched and cheered."[69]

The Break with Michelle Wolf[edit]

Michelle Wolf hosted a weekly Netflix talk show, The Break with Michelle Wolf, which premiered May 27, 2018 and was discontinued on August 18, 2018. It will "take a break from the seriousness of late-night comedy" and "instead of making the news fun, she’ll make fun of everything and everybody. There will be no preaching or political agenda—unless it’s funny."[70][71] She is also an executive producer for the show.[70][72] Netflix released the trailer to coincide with her appearance at 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner.[73][74] Netflix ordered a 10-episode season that premered in May 2018 and aired over 10 weeks, with the series finale on July 29, 2018. According to Deadline Hollywood the show did not draw enough of a viewership to secure a renewal.[75]

Personal life[edit]

Wolf is an avid runner. She has run marathons, and in 2018 completed a 50-mile (80 km) ultramarathon at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.[76]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Parallels a Maybelline slogan, "Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline."

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (June 18, 2016). "Book Excerpt: Meet The Regulars" with Sasheer Zamata and Michelle Wolf, by Joshua D. Fischer". The Comic's Comic. Retrieved November 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Zarum, Lara (November 30, 2017). "Michelle Wolf Is the Voice Comedy Needs Right Now". The Village Voice. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  3. ^ Johnson, Ted (February 23, 2018). "Michelle Wolf Says She Won't Hold Back Humor, Even If Trump Attends White House Correspondents' Dinner". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2018. 
  4. ^ Vadala, Nick (April 30, 2018). "Comedian Michelle Wolf ran track in Hershey before she trashed Trump at the White House Correspondents' Dinner". The Philadelphia Enquirer. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "Meet the Regulars".
  6. ^ "Past lab members". William & Mary. Retrieved May 2, 2018. 
  7. ^ Eby, Margaret (November 19, 2014). "Comedian Michelle Wolf Is Taking Brooklyn By Stand-Up". Brooklyn Magazine. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  8. ^ https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Culture/michelle-wolf-things-white-house-correspondents-dinner-host/story?id=53303703
  9. ^ Otterson, Joe (June 24, 2016). "How 'Daily Show's' Newest Correspondent Michelle Wolf Went From Wall Street to Comedy Central". The Wrap. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  10. ^ Davidson, Phil (August 6, 2014). "Balancing Standup and Writing for 'Late Night' with Michelle Wolf". Splitsider. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  11. ^ Petski, Denise (April 4, 2016). "'Daily Show With Trevor Noah' Adds Michelle Wolf As On-Air Contributor & Writer". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  12. ^ Blumenfeld, Zach (April 4, 2016). "Comedian Michelle Wolf Joins The Daily Show As Writer, Contributor". Paste. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  13. ^ Wright, Megh (November 9, 2015). "Watch Michelle Wolf's Comedy Central Web Series 'Now Hiring'". Splitsider. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  14. ^ Lackey, Emily (April 4, 2016). "Who Is Michelle Wolf? This New 'Daily Show' Correspondent Has A Lot To Offer". Bustle. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
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  16. ^ Czajkowski, Elise (August 2, 2016). "Michelle Wolf: 'Four years of Donald Trump jokes will drive me insane'". The Guardian. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
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  18. ^ "8 Out of 10 Cats - Episode Guide". All 4. Channel Four Television Corporation. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
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  21. ^ Greene, Steve (December 2, 2017). "'Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady' is a Great Standup Time Capsule for 2017". IndieWire. Retrieved December 4, 2017. 
  22. ^ Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady, retrieved December 4, 2017 
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  26. ^ Sullivan, Eileen (April 6, 2018). "Trump Will Once Again Skip the White House Correspondents Dinner". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 14, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2018. 
  27. ^ Forgey, Quint (April 6, 2018). "Trump to skip White House Correspondents' Dinner again". Politico. Archived from the original on April 14, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2018. 
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  36. ^ "Wonder what Michelle Wolf said to make everyone so mad? Read it here". Vox. Retrieved 2018-05-01. 
  37. ^ Lam, Katherine (2018-04-29). "Michelle Wolf doubles down on Sarah Sanders insults as journalists defend press secretary". Fox News. Retrieved 2018-05-03. 
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  39. ^ a b Heil, Emily (April 29, 2018). "The many reactions to Michelle Wolf's speech, from Trump saying she 'bombed' to Kumail Nanjiani's support". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  40. ^ Haberman, Maggie [@maggieNYT] (April 28, 2018). "That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive" (Tweet). Retrieved May 3, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  41. ^ a b c "Michelle Wolf Hits Back At Criticism That She Attacked Sarah Huckabee Sanders' Looks". HuffPost Canada. April 29, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  42. ^ Brzezinski, Mika [@morningmika] (April 29, 2018). "Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable. I have experienced insults about my appearance from the president. All women have a duty to unite when these attacks happen and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology" (Tweet). Retrieved May 3, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  43. ^ McArdle, Mairead (April 30, 2018). "Mika Brzezinski: White House Correspondents Dinner a Big Win for Trump". National Review. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  44. ^ Ryan, Erin Gloria (April 30, 2018). "Michelle Wolf's WHCD Honesty Is What America Needs Right Now". The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  45. ^ Hains, Tim. "FNC's Ed Henry: WH Correspondents Association Should Apologize To Sarah Sanders For "Disgusting" Jokes". RealClearPolitics. 
  46. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. "Did Michelle Wolf Kill the White House Correspondents' Dinner?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  47. ^ Spicer, Sean [@seanspicer] (April 28, 2018). "Tonight's #WHCD was a disgrace" (Tweet). Retrieved May 1, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  48. ^ a b "Michelle Wolf Sets Off a Furor at White House Correspondents' Dinner". The New York Times. April 29, 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  49. ^ Wolf, Michelle [@michelleisawolf] (April 28, 2018). "Thank you!" (Tweet). Retrieved May 1, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  50. ^ Trump, Donald J. [@realDonaldTrump] (April 29, 2018). "While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn't work. Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust...the so-called comedian really "bombed." @greggutfeld should host next year! @PeteHegseth" (Tweet). Retrieved May 1, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  51. ^ Trump, Donald J. [@realDonaldTrump] (April 29, 2018). "The White House Correspondents' Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy "comedian" totally bombed (couldn't even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put Dinner to rest, or start over!" (Tweet). Retrieved May 1, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  52. ^ a b c d Flynn, Meagan (April 30, 2018). "Trump scolds 'filthy' comedian. Head of correspondents group regrets monologue". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  53. ^ Trump, Donald J. [@realDonaldTrump] (April 30, 2018). "The White House Correspondents' Dinner is DEAD as we know it. This was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for. FAKE NEWS is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night!" (Tweet). Retrieved May 1, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  54. ^ Wolf, Michelle [@michelleisawolf] (April 29, 2018). "Why are you guys making this about Sarah's looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials" (Tweet). Retrieved May 1, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  55. ^ a b "Comic Michelle Wolf Responds To Backlash: 'I'm Glad I Stuck To My Guns'". NPR.org. Retrieved May 2, 2018. 
  56. ^ a b Amatulli, Jenna (April 30, 2018). "Journalists Push Back On Correspondents' Association's Response To Michelle Wolf". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  57. ^ Jensen, Erin (April 29, 2018). "White House Correspondents' Dinner: Michelle Wolf obliterates Sarah Huckabee Sanders". USA Today. Retrieved April 29, 2018. 
  58. ^ a b Samuels, Brett (April 29, 2018). "White House Correspondents' Association: Michelle Wolf's routine 'not in the spirit' of our mission". The Hill. Retrieved April 30, 2018. 
  59. ^ Poniewozik, James (April 30, 2018). "Michelle Wolf Did Her Job. It's the Correspondents' Dinner That Is the Problem". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  60. ^ McAfee, Tierney (April 30, 2018). "Jimmy Kimmel and More Stars Defend Michelle Wolf Over Sarah Sanders Jokes". People. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
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  62. ^ Wilstein, Matt (May 1, 2018). "Seth Meyers Defends Michelle Wolf: 'Sarah Huckabee Sanders Got Off Easy'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  63. ^ Conover, Adam (April 30, 2018). "Michelle Wolf Did What Comedians Are Supposed to Do". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  64. ^ Jacobson, Murrey (April 30, 2018). "Dave Chappelle says Michelle Wolf 'nailed it' at White House Correspondents Dinner". PBS NewsHour. PBS. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  65. ^ Griffin, Kathy [@kathygriffin] (April 29, 2018). "A) Ok I have some thoughts on @michelleisawolf's act and the reaction to it from members of the press and other DC insiders. For the record, I was in the room last night. @michelleisawolf's set was great. She was hilarious and confident" (Tweet). Retrieved May 1, 2018 – via Twitter. 
  66. ^ a b Izadi, Elahe (April 30, 2018). "Michelle Wolf's correspondents' dinner set made Washington uncomfortable. But comedians have her back". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  67. ^ Yahr, Emily (May 1, 2018). "Late-night hosts ridicule the outrage over Michelle Wolf's correspondents' dinner speech". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  68. ^ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (May 1, 2018), Stephen Colbert (The Other One) On Michelle Wolf's WHCD Speech, retrieved May 3, 2018 
  69. ^ Scovell, Nell. "Why the White House Correspondents' Dinner Should Go On". Vulture. Retrieved May 6, 2018. 
  70. ^ a b Petski, Denise (February 12, 2018). "'Daily Show' Writer Michelle Wolf Lands Netflix Talk Show". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  71. ^ "The Break with Michelle Wolf". Netflix.com. Retrieved May 4, 2018. 
  72. ^ Otterson, Joe (February 12, 2018). "'Daily Show' Contributor Michelle Wolf Lands Netflix Late-Night Series". Variety. Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  73. ^ McDonald, Andy (April 30, 2018). "Michelle Wolf's Netflix Show Trailer Came Out This Weekend Too". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  74. ^ Morris, Chris (April 30, 2018). "Why Netflix Could Be the Big Winner (or Loser) After Saturday's White House Correspondent's Dinner". Fortune. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  75. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2018-08-17). "'The Break With Michelle Wolf' & 'The Joel McHale Show' Canceled By Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-08-18. 
  76. ^ Wolf, Michelle (May 9, 2018). "Season 5, Episode 102". Late Night With Seth Meyers (Interview). Interviewed by Seth Myers. NBC. 

External links[edit]