"C.P. Time" or "C.P.T." is a reference to "Colored People’s Time," a stereotype that African Americans are always late due to laziness and ineptitude.
They made the joke at the Inner Circle Dinner, a roast that is hosted annually by a group of New York City journalists. This year’s dinner was held on Saturday (April 9), and in service of its "Shamilton" theme, de Blasio and Clinton took to the stage alongside "Hamilton" actor Leslie Odom Jr.
The bit begins when Clinton hears her name and joins de Blasio and Odom on the stage. She jabs de Blasio about his delayed endorsement of her candidacy, saying, "I just have to say thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough."
Odom, who is Black, laughs and says, "Oh, snap!" Someone off camera punctuates the moment with a comedic rimshot, and the crowd cheers.
After the audience quiets down, de Blasio retorts, "Sorry, Hillary. I was running on C.P. Time."
The crowd gasps and laughs reticently, while Clinton and de Blasio slowly look at Odom. The performer says, "That’s not…I don’t like jokes like that, Bill," a reaction that nets more confident laughter from the audience.
Clinton ends the bit by suggesting that C.P. Time is an abbreviation for "Cautious Politician Time."
According to Newsweek, the joke "could be interpreted as risqué, given the racial content," but Odom’s presence and the fact that de Blasio is married to and has children with a Black woman, are mitigating factors.
[I]t was made with the friendly participation of African-American actor and "Hamilton" star Leslie Odom Jr., and no African-American leaders or groups have complained—not to mention the fact that de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, and their children, are African-American—make the joke seem more groan-inducing than controversial.
At press time, we have not seen or heard angry reactions from Black leaders or groups.
Check out video above, via the NYC Mayor’s Office’s YouTube channel. The joke begins at 8:30.