By Robert A. Vella

Last night’s edition of the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, first held in 1920, was a mixture of some very funny jokes, some painfully stinging jabs, and a pompous display of incestuous establishment elitism.  President Obama spoke first, followed by comedian Joel McHale.  As usual, Obama’s material was well written and delivered.  McHale’s performance was sharply critical, and reminiscent of Stephen Colbert’s evisceration of President Bush in 2006.

Here are the lines I thought were the funniest:

Obama:  “I am happy to be here, even though I am a little jet-lagged from my trip to Malaysia.  The lengths we have to go to get CNN coverage these days.  I think they’re still searching for their table.”

Obama:  “Washington seems more dysfunctional than ever.  The gridlock has gotten so bad in this town, you have to wonder… what’d we do to piss off Chris Christie so bad?”

Obama:  “I’m feeling sorry for the Speaker of the House as well.  The House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me.  I guess orange really is the new black.”

Obama (on unemployment benefits):  “If you want to get paid while not working, you should run for Congress just like everyone else.”

Obama (on MSNBC):  “They’re a little overwhelmed.  They’ve never seen an audience this big before.”

Obama (on the botched roll-out of HealthCare.gov):  “Things got so bad, the 47% called Mitt Romney to apologize.”

McHale:  “Ted Cruz proposed a government shutdown to protest the Affordable Care Act.  And everyone else in Congress decided to go along with it simply to get some time away from Ted Cruz.  The tea party is anti-socialism and anti-immigration, so it makes sense that their hero is a Cuban from Canada.”

McHale:  “Good evening, Mr. President… or as Paul Ryan refers to you, yet another inner-city minority relying on the federal government to feed and house your family.”

McHale:  “People say that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is a clumsy mess, but he can’t help it.  He’s a big guy.  He’s like a bull in a crack pipe shop.”

McHale:  “Hillary Clinton has a lot going for her as a candidate.  She has experience.  She’s a natural leader.  And, as our first female president, we could pay her 30 percent less.”

McHale:  “There’s a heated race on the Republican side.  They’re all vowing to see who will win over the GOP base and, more importantly, who gets to apply turtle wax to Sheldon Adelson’s Rascal scooter.”

McHale:  “As it stands right now, the Republican presidential nominee will either be Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, or a bag of flour with Ronald Reagan’s face drawn on it.”

McHale (to Obama):  “Sir, I do think you’re making a big mistake with Putin.  You have to show a guy like that that you’re just as crazy as he is.  He invades Crimea.  You invade Cancun.  Russia takes back the Ukraine.  America takes back Texas.”

These are the lines I thought were the most critical:

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

Obama (to Fox News):  “Let’s face it, you’ll miss me when I’m gone.  It’ll be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.”

McHale:  “Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity are the Mount Rushmore of keeping old people angry.”

McHale:  “And CNN is desperately searching for something they’ve been missing for months… their dignity.”

McHale:  “I hope you all enjoyed your dinner.  The filet tonight was grass-fed beef, freshly dragged off the Cliven Bundy ranch.  The steaks are very tasty once you pull off the tiny white hoods.”

McHale:  “E [channel] is also home to the Kardashians, who, believe it or not, are Republicans.  And I know that, because they’re always trying to screw black people.”

McHale:  “Speaking of digestive systems, Chris Christie is here.  He’s actually here tonight.  Wow, sir, you are a glutton… for punishment.  So here we go.  Chris Christie, his administration canceled the train tunnel to Manhattan.  They’re closing the Pulaski Skyway, and they blocked the George Washington Bridge.  Finally, a politician willing to stand up to America’s commuters.  Governor, do you want bridge jokes or size jokes?  Because I’ve got a bunch of both.  I could go half and half.  I know you like a combo platter.”

McHale:  “Julia Pierson, the new director of the Secret Service, is here tonight.  Yeah. Under her leadership, Secret Service agents no longer consort with prostitutes thanks to their new too-drunk-to-make-it-to-the-brothel program.”

McHale:  “The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, is here.  Finally I can put a face to the mysterious voice clearing its throat on the other end of the phone.”

Finally, this tweet by Cenk Uygur sums up my feelings on the incestuous relationship between America’s political and media elites that was pathetically on display at this event Saturday night:

Cenk Uygur tweet on White House Correspondents Dinner

2 thoughts on “White House Correspondents’ Dinner: funny jokes, stinging jabs, and incestuous elitism

  1. Robert,
    Yes, McHale reminded of Colbert, but it may be humanly impossible to top Colbert’s destroying of George W. Bush. The one with 47% apologizing to Romney was good. 🙂 Thanks for the laughs.


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