To celebrate this weekend's White House Correspondent's Dinner in her own unique way, Samantha Bee launched a special episode of Full Frontal called Not the WHCD and brought some of her funniest friends along to pump up the press with her for the hour-long event.
The event was focused on celebrating the free press through tongue-in-cheek commentary and attacking the sitting administration, all while doubling up on the roasting that was in play during the real WHCD.
In the cold open, Emmy-winning actress Allison Janney reprised her The West Wing character C.J. Cregg to field questions about the event during a faux White House Press Briefing. While it wasn't quite as campy as Saturday Night Live's recent takes on today's "Spicey" sessions, there were some clever winks to current events and decorum shifts scattered throughout — from the names of certain "news" organizations to the Skyped-in non-question.
For her own entrance, Sam Bee came out like a full-on rock star, fit with high energy musical accompaniment, before turning the spotlight back over to those who've been most maligned by the current White House administration: the press. "You dig up misdeeds and frauds by the powerful. You expose injustice against the weak, and you continue to fact-check the President as if he might someday get embarrassed," she said to praise the crowd of journos in the audience and at home before toasting their work.
In another segment, the comedienne featured a docu-style feature on the rise of "alternative facts," built in the vain of a Discovery Channel special. The feature deadpanned, "Like dark matter, the discovery of alternative facts has upended our understanding of the universe, introducing a new paradigm many are struggling with," before bringing in a gaggle of experts to try and narrow in on a definition of "facts."
Bee also recruited fellow funny-men and -women to offer some new roast material on Donald Trump and sat in the hot seat for CNN host Jake Tapper's The Lead before ushering in the night's very special guest: Will Ferrell reprising his famed impersonation of former President George W. Bush.
Ferrell has kept his "Dubya" impression skills warm in recent years — he did a cameo on SNL in 2015 and then showed up to late-night with it just before the 2016 presidential election — but this is his first role reprisal since Donald Trump has assumed the title of President.
"How do you like me now?" he teased. "History's proven to be kinder to me than many of you thought. I'll be honest, I never liked you guys in the press. Our relationship was sometimes strained, contentious ... You guys would always sneak up on me with 'gotcha' questions like, 'Why are we going to war? Gotcha!' 'Why did you not respond to Hurricane Katrina? Gotcha!' 'What is your middle name? Gotcha!' I just wish someone had told me that all you have to say is 'fake news' over and over again, that could be your answer to anything."
But that was far from all of Ferrell's great material. Wait for the explanation of the unfinished Trump portrait. Wait for it.