Amid the drudgery of each US presidential election cycle, there’s one brief moment of respite. A single night where the nominees can keep their policy positions on ice, loosen up by just a fraction, and simply roast the hell out of each other. 

It’s called the Al Smith Dinner, and it’s a ritzy white-tie affair held with the intention of raising funds for Catholic charities in New York City. Presidential candidates have been invited to speak at the event for yonks, and it’s generally the last time opponents share a stage before the actual election.

So, what did Donald Trump do with his last appearance right next to Hillary Clinton, at an event that looked like something The Joker would hijack? He very nearly blew it. Bigly. 

During a caustic speech that mostly missed the memo (“Make it funny, Donald”), Trump inveighed upon the Democratic nominee with little tact and even less self-awareness. The NYC socialites he’s spent a lifetime trying to impress very nearly booed him off the stage after he straight-up said that Clinton was “pretending not to hate Catholics”:

His half-baked jabs about her email scandal and Wikileaks were also DOA. 

For what it’s worth, 

Trump did actually got one good dig in. Still, when your punchline is based around the premise of jailing a political opponent when you become president, the joke is pretty bloody uneasy:


Trump’s roasts were in accordance with… well, what we know about his actual roast. Writers from his 2011 Comedy Central Roast recently revealed Trump as someone who doesn’t really get jokes, nor the endearing power of self-deprecation. Perhaps the most humility he showed during the event was when he hung a modicum of shit on wife Melania Trump for plagiarising that speech from Michelle Obama.

Clinton, however, was much more open to being a comedic target. In her speech, she played off right-wing conspiracies about her health by saying she “took a break from [her] rigorous nap schedule” to attend. She also dampened the impact of Trump’s Wikileaks barbs by offering her own:


Then, a personal favourite: Clinton said Trump “sees the Statue of Liberty and sees a 4. Maybe a 5 if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.”

WATCH: Trump Got Booed To Hell And Back At The Election’s Final Roast Sesh

If you have the fortitude, you can watch both of ’em go hogwild right here:

Source: New York Times. 
Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty.