On Saturday, the biggest names in Hollywood and media will descend upon Washington D.C. to mix and mingle with the slightly less ‘household name-y’ politicians of the nation’s capital for the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, or what is otherwise (lovingly) called the ‘Nerd Prom’.
While the White House Correspondents’ Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the dinner itself has been around since 1944. As the years go on, the event has seemingly become more ‘Hollywood’ (much to the chagrin of critics) as the press get to invite their own guests to the dinner, which usually results in the attendance of a veritable Who’s Who in the zeitgeist.
For example this year, USA Today is hosting Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba of Orange is the New Black, NBC News has invited Kevin Hart and Olympic snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg, while ABC News is keeping it in the network fam with Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara, and of course no D.C. event isn’t complete with out Darby ‘Sassy Gabby’ Stanchfield, and the POTUS & FLOTUS Tony Goldwyn and Bellamy Young.
Not to mention a comedian is hired every year to host, with the 2014 honor going to The Soup’s own Joel McHale (#SixSeasonsAndAMovie). He’s used to slamming reality TV and news hosts on his show, but will he be able to bring politics in the mix? (My answer: yes)
Over the years, talented comedians have been asked to prepare a comedic speech – usually a roast of the President and politicians – and some have proven to be better than others. Here’s a list of my favorites from the past few years – and a President for good measure.
5) 2012 – Jimmy Kimmel
“If you told me when I was a kid I would be standing on a dais with President Barack Obama, I would have said, ‘The president’s name is Barack Obama?'”
“Remember when the country rallied around you in hopes of a better tomorrow? That was hilarious.”
To New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: “I think you’re misunderstanding New Jersey’s slogan. It’s not the Olive Garden state.”
“Where are the CNN tables? Are the CNN tables real tables or virtual tables?”
4) and 3) 2011 & 2013 – Barack Obama
Because the President gets to crack his own jokes too. And Obama has been the absolute best.
2011 aka The One with Uncomfortable Donald Trump in the Audience
Basically all of the Donald Trump part.
2013 aka The One Where We Realized Barry O Had Better Comic Timing and Delivery Than A Lot Of Actors in Hollywood
“This whole controversy about Jay Z going to Cuba. I got 99 Problems, and Jay Z is one of them. That’s another rap reference, Bill (O’Reilly).”
“The sequester… the Republicans fell in love with this thing. And now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album.”
“I remember when Buzzfeed was just something I did in college after 2am.”
On not being on the cover of magazines lately, while Michelle graced the cover of Vogue: “I guess I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.”
“I’m also hard at work for plans on THE Obama Library, and some have suggested I put it in my birthplace, but I’d rather keep it in the United States.”
2) 2006 – Stephen Colbert
Ah, yes. The most controversial WHCD speech to date. Stephen Colbert went up as “Stephen Colbert” and basically shut down George W. Bush … to his face. Some fans of Bush even left the event because Colbert’s cutting remarks. But hey, who’s got the last laugh now?
“I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound—with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.”
1) 2011 – Seth Meyers
The WHCD was made for Seth Meyers. He’s intelligent, knowledgable and able to pull off a joke without being rude. I mean this is a guy who had been the anchor on SNL’s Weekend Update for years, and he knows some of the best writers in the biz. Get them all together and you have a speech of Fey/Poehler Golden Globes-like proportions. And the best host of the dinner by far.
“This event tonight has grown past Washington and many Hollywood celebrities are also here tonight. John Hamm is here. Yea. John Hamm looks the way every Republican thinks they look. Zach Galifianakis is also here. Zach Galifianakis looks the way Republicans think every Democrat looks.”
“Let’s start with Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wrote a book titled “No Apologies.” No apologies? When you have to proclaim ‘no apologies’ isn’t that a tacit admission you’ve made a lot of mistakes? If I come home from a trip to Vegas and the first thing I say to my girlfriend is ‘no apologies’, we’re going to have a follow-up conversation.”
“Donald Trump has been saying he will run for President as a Republican, which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke… Donald Trump said recently he has a great relationship with the blacks, but unless the blacks are a family of white people I bet he is mistaken.”
“The President and Joe Biden were not invited to the Royal Wedding and when Biden found out he immediately said to the President: ‘you, me, Wedding Crashers 2.’ I’ll book us two Amtrak tickets to London. The Vice-President loves the trains. And I assume it must have been hard for the President to tell Biden the new budget cut $1.5 Billion from high speed rail. ‘Joe, come on in, take off your Engineer’s cap. I have some bad news about the Choo-choos.’ As he broke the news, one of the straps on Joe’s overalls, sadly drooped off his shoulder.”