Everyone loves a roast, right? Wrong. It takes great material and timing to deliver a memorable evening. That’s why politicians hire professionals to write their jokes. Even then, it’s hard to be funny.
How about reporters? Consider the American News Women’s Club’s roast for Candy Crowley at the National Press Club Wednesday. The CNN anchor of “State of the Union” was feted for being a tough, fair professional and a great mom. Basically, an all-around decent human being — not the makings of laugh riot.
But since this was a roast, her pals were compelled to deliver embarrassing stories and jokes. Bill Richardson kicked things off with what we were warned were “off the record” remarks. Really, Bill? In a room full of reporters? We wouldn’t hesitate to publish his lame one-liners if they were worth the ink.
Molly Boyle, Crowley’s best friend and former colleague, revealed that Crowley was a big fan of “All My Children.” and used to leave phone messages as “Erica Kane.” Dana Bash shared that Crowley calls her CNN bosses “the big pants” and joked about watching the vegetarian order at fast-food drive-through. Judy Woodruff opined that the honoree needs to change her name: “Candy Crowley: It sounds like one of those actresses in an X-rated movie.”
The ANWC, celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, gave Crowley its 18th Excellence in Journalism Award named after Helen Thomas. (The 91-year-old reporter looked frail but stayed all evening and received a standing ovation.) Crowley accepted the award, skipped the jokes, and stuck to heartfelt thanks: “I love what I do and to have people say nice things about the way you do it is the best.”
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