They came, they laughed, they cringed, but all could agree- Katie Couric has a good sense of humor.
The CBS Evening News anchor (“America’s sweetheart long before anyone had ever heard of Barack Obama” as David Axelrod refers to her) was roasted last night by friends and colleagues as part of the American News Women’s Club 15th gala and Helen Thomas Award Dinner. Most punch lines included ratings, Sarah Palin and colonoscopies– or an odd combination of the three.
Roasters included CBS’ Rick Kaplan, Jeff Greenfield and David Martin, as well as Axelrod, Nicolle Wallace and Mike Huckabee. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg also surprised Couric and the audience with a video appearance.
Sam Donaldson was the emcee- he worked with Couric at her first gig as a desk assistant at ABC. All he wanted to know was if Couric could “still produce a good cup of coffee.”
Kaplan, Couric’s executive producer at Evening News (“Beauty and the Beast,” chided Donaldson) was first up. “Roasting your anchor… can be really dangerous,” he opened. “We did have to edit out a couple of comments that Katie made during the interview, for instance, when Governor Palin said I can see Russia from my house, Katie actually said, well I can see Jersey from mine but that doesn’t mean I know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.”
We’ll let the roasters speak for themselves…
“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?'” -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.” -Greenfield on Donaldson
“Our audience thinks YouTube is a hemorrhoid cream.” -Greenfield on CBS
“Everyone at FOX News has been fantastic to me. Bill O’Reilly even tips me when I park his car.” -Huckabee
“She saved the country.” -Thomas on Couric’s Palin interviews
Couric’s parents attended, sitting at CBS’ table with Washington Bureau Chief Chris Isham and correspondents Chip Reid and Nancy Cordes. Four college juniors were also awarded scholarships from the hosting American News Women’s Club.
The cartoon is the Women’s Club invitation and program logo.