While the rest of the country watched President Obama's State of the Union address last night, satirist Andy Borowitz hosted a panel of guests -- ranging from Janeane Garofalo to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin -- at the 92nd St Y to evaluate the president's first year in office.
"For someone not even from [this country], he's doing an excellent job" Borowitz deadpanned. "He's basically an exchange student."
The New Yorker humorist and sometime-standup had the audience in stitches, denouncing President Obama for his inability to rid the high seas of bloodthirsty Somali pirates and dubbing the Republican party -- after hearing Toobin call them a bunch of tax-cutting nihilists -- "The Sex Pistols of politics."
Looking at ease in a zip-up hoodie, jeans and sneakers, Borowitz set an irreverent tone, flexing his comedic chops -- a skill he's perfected writing fake news stories on his eponymous website, The Borowitz Report -- for the majority of the evening.
His panelists weren’t afraid to follow suit: "Dead Line" poet and longtime Nation and Time columnist Calvin Trillin recited a poem that repeatedly (and brilliantly) rhymed with disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s last name. Toobin and MSNBC’s Jonathan Alter joined the fray for what Horowitz dubbed a "CNN and MSNBC SmackDown."
Of course more serious issues were broached too. Garofalo expressed “bitter disappointment” regarding the President’s first year in office, and though her fellow panelists weren’t as harsh in their Obama critique (and even defended some if not many of his policies), there was a palpable sense of let down from the “Yes We Can” highs of just a year ago.