President Obama got the first – and biggest laughs at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday night.
He poked fun at some of Hollywood’s top stars, including Kim Kardashian, the cast of Glee and Donald Trump, sending him up with a seemingly serious allusion to the attack on Osama bin Laden, which took place during last year’s dinner.
“My fellow Americans, we gather during a historic anniversary. Last year at this time, in fact on this very weekend, we finally delivered justice to one of the world’s most notorious individuals,” Obama told the audience of journalists and celebs before showing an unflattering photo of Trump on the big screen.
That joke got huge laughs, as did a bit where Obama poked fun at himself and Mitt Romney and their relationships with their respective dogs.
He ended his speech, by saying he had even more material to share, but there was just one catch. “I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew,” he joked, referring to the agency’s recent prostitution scandal.
Even the entrance to his speech was part of his schtick. The president walked off stage just before he took the podium with an alleged “hot mic,” making fun of getting caught last month on an open microphone with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“What am I doing here,” he asks off stage. “I’m opening for Jimmy Kimmel and telling knock-knock jokes to Kim Kardashian.”
The comedian of the evening, Jimmy Kimmel, got plenty of big laughs of his own. He took a number of jabs at the president, opening with “Remember when the country rallied around you in the hopes of a better tomorrow? That was hilarious,” Kimmel said as Obama smiled on. “That was your best one yet.”
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, actress Lindsay Lohan, news anchor Keith Olbermann and radio host Rush Limbaugh were not spared in Kimmel’s lengthy routine either, as he advised airplane pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to be careful when giving Lohan a ride home. “Make sure you don’t run into a goose – a Grey Goose,” he said.
Before the dinner, morning show host Kelly Ripa said she was thrilled to be in D.C. and was surprised at the magnitude of the event. “It’s much bigger than I anticipated it,” she said. “I thought we’d be in the Obamas’ kitchen, sitting around with just a few USA TODAY reporters, and us, but it really is very glamorous.”
Reality TV mom Kris Jenner sat with daughter Kim Kardashian at the front of the ballroom and said she was having the time of her life at her first Correspondents Dinner, where she looked forward to rubbing elbows with plenty of Washington movers and shakers. “I would love to see Colin Powell; I think he was my dinner partner when Bruce (Jenner) and I came to the White House in the ’90s.”
The intersection of Washington and Hollywood comes into sharp focus, as members of Congress, governors and the president hobnob with stars such as actress Kerry Washington, singer Mary J. Blige, actress Reese Witherspoon, actor George Clooney, singer Alicia Keys and many more.
“It’s very interesting; I like the mesh of people,” said Alicia Keys, who stayed close to husband Swizz Beatz. “The convergence of all politics and entertainment, it’s very interesting.”
Proceeds from the dinner go toward scholarships for aspiring journalists and awards for distinction in the profession.
The White House Correspondents Association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the press and the president. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.