What You Missed At Obama’s Mic-Drop White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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White House Correspondents' Dinner Party
“Obama Out.”Photo: Pool/2016 Getty Images

President Obama turned in his last official standup routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night, offering some comedy stylings on his seven-plus years in office, the press, the Republican Party, and the current slate of presidential candidates — all before literally dropping the mic. Obama was then followed by Comedy Central’s Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore, who seized the opportunity to roast politicians and perhaps even more so, the press, which, as could be expected, often prompted a nearly silent reaction from the crowd, though CNN’s Don Lemon did give him the finger at one point.

Head here for Obama’s full speech, and here for Wilmore’s. Otherwise, some highlights from both:

On Donald Trump
While the Donald wasn’t in the audience, he inevitably got some attention from both Obama and Wilmore, though the president first tried to fake out the crowd by pretending to start his closing remarks without a section of jokes about the GOP frontrunner, then admitted he was kidding and “had to talk about Trump” and went on to comment about the likely GOP nominee’s taste and foreign policy knowledge, and to point out how the businessman might actually be able to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay because “Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground”:

For his part, Wilmore hit on Trump’s Morning Joe fan club, the candidate’s penis references, and how he wasn’t surprised that “Donald Trump is happening to America because I watch movies — and every time there’s a black president something always comes to destroy the earth”:

On the Unrest Within the GOP
Obama alluded to the party’s internal issues a couple times. For instance, characterizing the fight for the Republican presidential nomination as “a little more loose” than the Democratic one, Obama noted the establishment’s pining for a particular Speaker of the House who continues to play hard to get:

Obama also noted that “next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot and it’s anyone guess who she will be” and feigned confusion about his sudden approval rating bump and how “the last time I was this high, I was deciding my major,” before showing a picture of Cruz and Trump in place of acknowledging the reason.

On Ted Cruz
While Wilmore did an extended riff on Cruz being so unlikable that people were wondering if he was the infamous Zodiac Killer, Obama dinged Cruz for not saying the proper name of basketball hoop while at a campaign stop in Indiana last week:

On Bernie Sanders
Obama joked that Sanders, who was in attendance, was “the bright new face of the Democratic party,” but also complained about how the senator was trying to distance himself from White House policies, deadpanning how “that’s just not something that you do to your comrade”:

And later, Wilmore hit on a whole range of Sanders jokes, including how “Bernie’s so old, his first campaign slogan was ‘fire’”:

On Hillary Clinton
While Obama mentioned Hillary several times, his most cutting remark was probably when he suggested that she reminded people of a relative who had just signed up for Facebook:

On That Cringeworthy Skit by Mayor De Blasio and Hillary Clinton
Obama also made a reference to the very ill-advised skit that New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and Hillary Clinton performed in which De Blasio joked about being late because he was “running on CP time,” (meaning “colored people” time). Near the beginning of his speech, Obama apologized for being late, noting that he “was running on CPT, which stands for ‘Jokes That White People Should Not Make’”:

On Obama’s Rapid Aging
Wilmore made a couple great “so-white” jokes about Obama’s hair having changed color while in office:

On the Media
As is tradition, the press corps were the target of numerous jokes on Saturday night. Obama got in a few digs himself, but one of his best was referring to how much media has changed over the course of his presidency:

But no media organization had more jokes at their expense on Saturday night than CNN, with Obama getting things started with this sharp barb:

And then Wilmore hit CNN even harder a few more times, eliciting near silence and sometimes jeers from the media-heavy audience, plus a degree of stonefacedness which should be called “the full Blitzer” from now on:

CNN’s Don Lemon took a different approach, flipping Wilmore the bird after the comedian noted that “America’s finest black journalists” were in the audience and that “Don Lemon is here, too”:

Wilmore also got in a brutal reference to last year’s Brian Williams scandal:

And he knocked MSNBC, which he said “actually now stands for Missing a Significant Number of Black Correspondents,” since “MSNBC got rid of so many black people, I thought Boko Haram was running that network.”


On Dropping the Mic
Obama fulfilled the dreams of GIF-lovers everywhere by actually dropping the mic at the end of his speech:

Wilmore, on the other hand, took a somewhat different tack, offering a personal note of respect for Obama as the first black president before adding:

The Full Videos

Watch President Obama’s full speech (or read the transcript):

Watch Larry Wilmore’s full speech (or read the transcript):