The White House Correspondents’ Association held their 100th annual dinner — an event known by the Beltway media as “nerd prom” — on Saturday night. The dinner was short on celebrities and long on jokes.
Vice President Joe Biden skipped the festivities, but he filmed a painfully unfunny opening skit with Veep actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, which made light of the first lady’s healthy-eating initatives.
Comedian Joel McHale emceed the event, and noted that he only hosted because Jimmy Fallon was busy. McHale stars in the NBC sitcom Community and he hosts the E! Network’s talk show-roasting program, The Soup.
Commenting on CNN, Ben Stein, a former speechwriter for President Nixon and President Ford and a comedian in his own right, was not happy with McHale’s performance. He said McHale’s jokes were “mean-spirited” and bad comedy. It’s true that McHale’s humor was biting and pulled no punches. He joked about President Obama failing to close Guantanamo Bay, Bridgegate, Chris Christie’s weight, CNN’s Malaysian-plane coverage, and the Clintons. McHale was crass, and every major politico took a hit.
President Obama spoke for 20 minutes and made jokes about Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. “MSNBC is here. They’re a little overwhelmed. They haven’t seen an audience this big before,” he joked.
McHale started by calling Obama “one of the all-time best presidents . . . definitely in the top 50.” He joked about the DNC’s hypocrisy over paycheck fairness, “Hillary Clinton has a lot going for her . . . as our first female president, we could pay her 30 percent less.” Hillary wasn’t the only Clinton he made fun of, “Chelsea Clinton is pregnant,” he noted. “When the baby is born, do you give Bill Clinton a cigar?”:
The jokes were hit-and-miss across the board, with just a few zingers from Obama and McHale that really landed.