white house correspondents' dinner 2014

What You Missed at the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 3: US President Barack Obama and comedian Joel McHale share a laugh at the annual White House Correspondent's Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel May 3, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The dinner is an annual event attended by journalists, politicians and celebrities. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
Photo: Pool/2014 Getty Images

On Saturday night, the members of White House Press Association celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the organization’s founding by attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner at the Washington Hilton. (The party is only 93 years old.) This year, Community and The Soup’s Joel McHale was the comedian who parachuted in to rib the D.C. establishment. And, as is traditional, the president served as McHale’s warm-up act by telling some jokes of his own. Both of them did alright, though the crowd seemed to appreciate Obama’s set more than McHale’s. Here are the highs and lows for anyone who didn’t stay in to watch middle-aged men mock cable news networks.

The evening’s entertainment began with a short buddy comedy starring Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the real-life Selina Meyer, Joe Biden. If you like those two, you will probably like it:

Then it was on to the stand-up, a biased accounting of which is below:

Total number of jokes about CNN: 5

CNN joke we saw coming: Obama explaining that, “I’m a little jetlagged from my trip to Malaysia. The lengths we have to go to to get CNN coverage these days.”

Total number of jokes about MSNBC: 3

MSNBC joke that is most likely to offend someone: McHale saying, “I’m a big fan of that lesbian on MSNBC, Chris Hayes.”

Total number of jokes about Fox News: 6

Best Fox News joke: “The Koch brothers bought a table here tonight but, as usual, they used a shadowy right-wing organization as a front,” said Obama, adding, “Hello, Fox News.”

Most frequently mocked politician: Attendee Chris Christie by far. Obama started things off by observing that, “Gridlock has gotten so bad in [Washington], you have to wonder what we do to piss off Chris Christie so bad.” But it was McHale who really went after the New Jersey governor, opening his act with the promise to make it “Amusing and over quickly, just like Chris Christie’s presidential bid.” At one point, he asked, “Governor, do you want bridge jokes or size jokes? I could go half and half — I know you like a combo platter,” before launching into a parody of Christie’s infamous Bridgegate press conference:

Netflix’s favorite joke about John Boehner’s skin tone: “These days, the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me,” Obama said. “Which means orange really is the new black.”

Paul Ryan’s least favorite joke: McHale saying that the onetime vice-presidential candidate sees President Obama as “Yet another inner-city minority relying on the federal government to feed and house [his] family.”

Ted Cruz joke containing the most Ted Cruz biographical information: McHale: “The Tea Party is anti-socialism and anti-immigration, so it makes sense that their hero is a Cuban from Canada.”

Cliven Bundy joke that wasn’t really a joke: “As a general rule, things don’t end well if you start a sentence, ‘Let me tell you something I know about the negro,’” Obama noted. “You don’t really need to hear the rest of it.”

Obligatory “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people” joke: McHale: “There’s a lot of celebrities tonight — they’re the ones that don’t look like ghouls.”

The nineties joke: McHale asked, “When [Chelsea Clinton’s] baby is born, do you give Bill Clinton a cigar?”

The Weiner joke: McHale informed the crowd that, “Biz Stone, the founder of Twitter, is here. So, if any of you congressmen want to cut out the middleman, just show him your penis.”

The joke that received no laughs, as far as we could tell: “What’s our biggest concern as Americans?” McHale asked. “TV show spoilers. In other countries, a spoiler consists of, ‘Hey, I haven’t been back to the village yet, so don’t tell me who survived the drone strike — no spoilers!’”

There were some other jokes, too. You can watch (and judge) Obama’s and McHale’s efforts in their entirety below:

What You Missed at the 2014 WHCD