The Best of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
May 12, 2016
Filed under Arts and Entertainment
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President Obama didn’t waste his last chance to make fun of himself, the press, and virtually everyone else in politics at his last annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, April 30. Both he and host Larry Wilmore used the platform to take on the media’s presence in the most unusual election cycle in recent memory, sparing no one (especially not CNN). Here are the ten best jokes from the dinner.
10. “I love Joe Biden. I really do. I want to thank him for his friendship, his counsel, for always giving it to me straight and for not shooting anybody in the face.” Making fun of the scandal surrounding Dick Cheney’s infamous hunting accident at a ranch in Texas, Obama was able to make some of Biden’s more creepy incidents look saintly in comparison.
9. “If this material works well, I’m gonna use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans.” One of Obama’s most obvious barbs at presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, he managed to both call out the influence of big banking on politics and the frankly ridiculous outrage over Harriet Tubman’s deserved addition to the $20 bill.
8. “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.” Larry Wilmore, staying true to form, took every opportunity he could to attack Trump, producing this gem that addresses the creeping horror that he actually has a shot at the presidency.
7. “I was running on CPT, which stands for ‘Jokes That White People Should Not Make.’” Of course, the president had to address the terribly awkward joke that New York City mayor Bill De Blasio and Hillary Clinton made at a campaign stop, where he joked about running on CP time, which stands for colored people time. Yikes.
6. “Welcome to Negro Night here in Washington — or as Fox News will report, Two Thugs Disrupt Elegant Dinner in D.C.” As tough as Wilmore was on CNN, he didn’t mince words when it came to his opening statement on Fox News.
5. “I am hurt, though, Bernie, that you have been distancing yourself a little from me. I mean, that’s just not something you do to your comrade.” Obama’s winking salute to Bernie Sanders also served as a stab at the Communist panic surrounding the candidate from the right.
4. “Some of America’s finest black journalists are here tonight. Don Lemon’s here too.” Don Lemon is a polarizing figure in journalism, to say the least. Wilmore’s jab elicited the best response of the night, too.
3. “Every year at this dinner, somebody at this dinner makes a joke about Buzzfeed, for example, changing the media landscape. And every year The Washington Post laughs a little bit less hard.” Obama’s material was meant more for the audience at home than the people in the room, but this sly jab was aimed directly at the media. Who knew the slow, agonizing death of journalism could be so fun?
2. “There’s a joke going around the Internet that Ted Cruz is actually the Zodiac Killer. I’m not making that up. Come on, that is absurd. Some people actually liked the Zodiac Killer.” Ted Cruz’s Zodiac Killer meme is the absolute best thing to come out of this election cycle. Wilmore’s joke takes it a step further.
1. “With that I just have two more words to say: Obama out.” [Obama drops the mic] Looking back, this is the only way the president could have ended his speech. The mic drop was instantly iconic, much to the delight of Twitter.