The White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday night showed a lesser-seen side of President Barack Obama: POTUS laughing at his own expense.
Known for being more tongue-in-cheek than any other dinner in Washington, the event was hosted by Joel McHale of NBC’s Community and E!’s The Soup. The comedian poked fun at the president; he said Obama referred to the Affordable Care Act as "Mecare" and used Healthcare.gov as a way of describing other disastrous events. He also lumped in Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with other notable natives of the Great White North such as Justin Bieber and notorious Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and re-imagined the Bridgegate scandal.
It was the night when everyone in the room – even White House press secretary Jay Carney – was able to laugh at the pitfalls of Healthcare.gov. Time and again, the camera panned to Obama, laughing at his own expense with a full grin.
When the camera went back to the entertainer- and athlete-filled crowd, it showed why the event’s "nerd prom" nickname is no longer applicable. Attendees included Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o, Modern Family stars Sofia Vergara and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Breaking Bad star Dean Norris, and New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel.
One actress was even part of the show. Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and real-life Vice President Joe Biden starred in a video that already has more than 975,000 views on YouTube, complete with cameos by the first lady and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
And when it came time for the president to speak, he was self-deprecating in his humor, but didn’t miss an opportunity to roast the right. The Wire rounded up his best lines, from saying his daughter Sasha asked President Bill Clinton to speak at her school’s career day to calling Fox News a "shadowy right-wing organization."
And for more proof of how outdated the "nerd prom" tag is, Vanity Fair has photos from the after party it hosted with Bloomberg.
And, of course, attendees and those who wished they were there tweeted about the event.
staying off the Internet tonight as I am not attending nerd prom and I am VERY jealous and sad about it and no I am not kidding.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 3, 2014