Michelle Wolf has defended her recent roasting of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, arguing the White House needs to laugh at itself just as previous administrations once did.

The comedian argues her jokes about the White House Press Secretary were nowhere near as offensive as the ones she made about other Republican figures.

During her controversial address – which lead to some walk-outs and some guests booing – Wolf poked fun at former New Jersey governor Chris Christie's weight and US senator Mitch McConnell's neck.

But it was her comments about Sanders that ignited a media firestorm. Her comments about the White House spokeswoman took aim at Sanders' Southern roots, as well as her makeup.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary.

Photo: Bloomberg


"I love you as Aunt Lydia in the Handmaid's Tale," she said as the cameras cut to a stony-faced Sanders. "I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful. Like, she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lies. Probably lies."

Speaking to NPR broadcaster and producer Terry Gross, Wolf says she has no regrets about her her blistering speech.

"Honestly, I wouldn't change a single word," she said. "I'm very happy with what I said and I'm glad I stuck to my guns.

"If there [are] two people that I actually made fun of [when it comes to] their looks on Saturday, it was Mitch McConnell and Chris Christie and no one is jumping to their defence… I can say things about women because I know what it's like to be a woman, if that makes sense."

Wolf said people who have claimed she should have been celebrating the media and not been so "aggressive" have misunderstood her role and what it means to be a comedian. She argued if anything, Sanders was not there to celebrate the media because she did not stand to congratulate CNN when several of its journalists won a prestigious award.

Michelle Wolf's caustic speech made some members of the audience boo and walk out.

Photo: AP

"There's plenty where you could look back and the camera was on Obama when people were making pretty aggressive jokes … and he was laughing," she said. "I think having the ability to laugh at yourself is important.

"I wasn't expecting this level [of criticism], but I'm also not disappointed. I knew what I was doing going in. I wanted to do something different. I didn't want to cater to the room."

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Broede Carmody

Broede Carmody is an entertainment reporter at Fairfax Media.

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