What You Missed at the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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On Saturday night, the members of the Washington press corps rubbed the schmutz off their glasses, grinned eagerly at the celebrities seated nearby, and sat down for the 94th annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner (or “Nerd Prom,” if you absolutely insist) at the local Hilton hotel. In accordance with tradition, President Obama served as the warm-up act for a professional joke-teller: This year, it was Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong. Neither of them killed, exactly, but there were a few funny moments. We’ve collected those below:

President Obama:

  • After noting that Dick Cheney recently called him “the worst president of my lifetime”: “[It’s] interesting, because I think Dick Cheney is the worst president of my lifetime.”
  • On Obamacare: “Now you never have to worry about losing your insurance if you lose your job. You’re welcome, Senate Democrats.”
  • I look so old, John Boehner’s already invited Netanyahu to speak at my funeral.”
  • “Some people still say I’m arrogant, aloof, condescending. Some people are so dumb.”
  • “For many Americans, this is still a time of deep uncertainty. For example, I have a friend — just last year, she was making millions of dollars. She’s now living out of a van in Iowa.”
  • “This week, Michele Bachmann actually predicted that I would bring about the biblical end of days. Now that’s a legacy. That’s big. I mean, Lincoln, Washington — they didn’t do that.”
  • “Cecily Strong impersonates Brooke Baldwin on CNN. Usually the only people impersonating journalists on CNN are journalists on CNN.”
  • On the cast of Blackish, many of whom were in attendance: “Being blackish only makes you popular for so long.”
  • “Donald Trump is here.” (Trump was, in fact, in the audience.) ” … Still.”
  • On the 2016 election: “Soon the first presidential contest will take place, and I for one can’t wait to see who the Koch brothers pick.” (The Koch brothers, who were also in the audience, did not laugh.)

Finally, Obama did Key and Peele fans (not to mention everyone else) a favor by bringing out Keegan-Michael Key to do his anger translator bit:

Cecily Strong:

  • “[The Correspondents’ Dinner] is a chance to unwind, relax, and laugh as soon as you notice that someone more powerful than you is laughing.”
  • Tonight’s event is being broadcast on C-Span, so to some of tonight’s viewers watching alone on C-Span: ‘Hello.’ But to most of tonight’s viewers watching C-Span at home tonight: ’Meow.’”
  • “‘It’s great to be here at the Washington Hilton … is something a prostitute might say to a congressman. Man, if these walls could talk, they’d probably say, ‘Clean me.’” 
  • “I still see so many negative portrayals of black and gay people out there. I mean, it’s 2015 and we still have characters like Don Lemon. It’s ridiculous.”
  • On the Secret Service’s bad year: “When the president walked in and saw those bellhops, he said, ‘Finally, some decent security.’” (Obama did not laugh.)
  • On the Secret Service, again: “I don’t want to be too hard on those guys because they’re the only law enforcement agency in the country that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot.”
  • “Fox News has been losing a lot of viewers lately, and may they rest in peace.”
  • “What can I say about Brian Williams? Nothing, because I work for NBC.”
  • On Elizabeth Warren being labeled too left-wing and idealistic to run in 2016: “But people thought the same thing about him [motioning to Obama], and he didn’t do any of that stuff.”
  • “Rand Paul has announced that he’s taking over the family’s not-being-president business.”
  • To Michelle Obama: “Take care of the garden while you can, because you know in 18 months Bill is turning that thing into an above-ground pool.”
  • “[Obama’s] hair is so white now, it can talk back to the police.”

And here are both performances in full: