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Michelle Wolf’s truth and consequences

Michelle Wolf has two shows in Rochester on Saturday at Comedy at the Carlson.
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO
Michelle Wolf has two shows in Rochester on Saturday at Comedy at the Carlson.

Michelle Wolf certainly has a way with words. Whether those words are truth-telling or rabble-rousing depends on the listener’s perspective. But it was certainly both sides of that argument, after her appearance at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, that catapulted her into the upper realm of talked-about comedians.

Wolf has two shows here Saturday, 7 and 9:30 p.m., at Comedy at the Carlson.

Wolf has made all of the cable-TV rounds, both as a performer and a writer; she’s written for both “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.” She had her own stand-up comedy special on HBO in 2017, “Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady.” Her 2018 Netflix series, “The Break With Michelle Wolf,” was not renewed after 10 episodes despite generally good reviews.

But it was the 19-minute appearance at the Correspondents’ Dinner that she’s most identified with. She severely roasted President Trump – who was not in attendance – and his enablers, including journalists who cover the White House.

It was her comments on former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that seemed to draw the most attention. “I actually really like Sarah,” Wolf said. “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.”

Some criticisms of what Wolf said were interpreted as an attack on Sanders’ appearance. Wolf’s defenders saw it as an observation on Sanders’ casual relationship with truth.

Wolf’s 7 p.m. show is sold out; some $25 tickets were still remaining for the 9:30 p.m. show as of Thursday. They’re available at

Jeff Spevak is the Arts & Life editor at WXXI. He can be contacted at

Jeff Spevak has been a Rochester arts reporter for nearly three decades, with seven first-place finishes in the Associated Press New York State Features Writing Awards while working for the Democrat and Chronicle.