Couric, Toasted and Roasted

The dark, humorless days following the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner are…challenging. No more genial hobnobbing. No more awkward small talk. And, worse, no more Jokes Waged at the Expense of Famous People.

Sad, I know. But the secret to coping with the loss of laughter is to ween oneself off it slowly. And this week, Washington thoughtfully provided a wind-down roast, this one at the expense of Famous Person Katie Couric, as part of the American News Women’s Club gala and the Helen Thomas Award Dinner.

As FishBowl DC notes in its write-up of the event, “Most punch lines included ratings, Sarah Palin and colonoscopies—or an odd combination of the three.”

Indeed. Below, some of the roast’s tastier bits:

“The transition from NBC to CBS was a little rough. Katie went from asking ‘where in the world is Matt Lauer’ to ‘where the hell are my viewers?’” -David Axelrod

“People were surprised by the intensity of that interview with Sarah Palin, but I wasn’t. To me, it made perfect sense. After all, Katie has made it her civic responsibility to conduct public colonoscopies. But I’m sure that will be the butt of a lot of jokes tonight.” -Axelrod

“What a delight to see Sam, ABC’s favorite son. Many of you think that’s an incomplete sentence, I know.” -Jeff Greenfield on Sam Donaldson

“Our audience thinks YouTube is a hemorrhoid cream.” -Jeff Greenfield on CBS

“Everyone at FOX News has been fantastic to me. Bill O’Reilly even tips me when I park his car.” -Mike Huckabee

“She saved the country.” -Helen Thomas on Couric’s Palin interviews

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.