NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Thursday night, for the 72nd year in a row, comedy and charity met at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner in Midtown.
White-tie elegance graced the ballroom at the Hilton Midtown Hotel with more than 800 people attending.
The Catholic fundraiser for New York’s neediest children included a who’s who of New York politicians, among them Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Emmy Award-winning Patricia Heaton served as the event’s first-ever woman emcee.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) gave the keynote speech who roasted President Donald Trump right from the get-go at the top of his remarks, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
“Enough with the applause alright, you sound like the cabinet when Donald Trump walks in the room,” Ryan said.
The speaker also jumped on the president’s use of Twitter.
“And the president will tweet: ‘300,000 at Al Smith dinner cheer at mention of my name,'” Ryan said.
“I’m learning being Speaker of the House is a stepping stone to becoming ex-Speaker of the House. But just because I’m speaker, you did not have to invite me,” he also quipped.
But he added more seriously: “We need an event like this more now than ever. It’s an opportunity for us to come together and support a truly righteous mission — to bring hope to the neediest children of the archdiocese of New York.”
While Ryan was joking, reporters kept an eye on de Blasio and cuomo who for most of the dinner did not exchange so much as a glance, Lamb reported.
This year, the foundation raised nearly $3.5 million for children in New York. Timothy Cardinal Dolan said that is a record for a non-presidential year.