White House Correspondents' Dinner: Hilarious, Outrageous Jokes Over the Years
Seth Meyers doesn't care for the Bloomberg party, Conan O'Brien sees media as high school, Wanda Sykes wonders about Sean Hannity being waterboarded and Craig Ferguson conjures a cable news rom-com.
Every White House Correspondents' Dinner emcee is obliged to make jokes about C-SPAN, congressional gridlock and, more recently, Donald Trump.
Given the constraints of the format, this year's newly named host, E!'s Joel McHale, could be destined to add to the beige collection of Beltway one-liners uttered by prior hosts. But McHale, who regularly skewers reality television on The Soup, may be well situated to catalog the ridiculousness that goes on in the nation's capital.
In hoping for some barbed humor, The Hollywood Reporter offers a refresher on some of the more outrageous quotes uttered in recent history by prior hosts. Below are selections from Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Wanda Sykes, Craig Ferguson, Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno and Drew Carey.
2013: Media Goes Back to High School
"As I look around the room and see all the media here tonight, I realize this is all just one big high school cafeteria. That's all it is. Think about it. Fox is the jocks, MSNBC is the nerds, bloggers are the goths, NPR is the table for kids with peanut allergies, Al Jazeera is the weird foreign exchange student nobody talks to. And print media, I didn't forget you, you're the poor kid who died sophomore year in a car crash. Cheer up, we dedicate the yearbook to you." —Conan O'Brien (14:25 in below video)
2012: The Difference Between Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher
"Is that slut Rush Limbaugh here? People are still upset with Rush for comments he made about Sandra Fluke. But, you know what, there's a reason Mr. Limbaugh said what he said, and that reason is Percocet. And by the way, just to clear things up for the extreme right-wingers, here's the difference between Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh: the people who watch Bill Maher know he's an ---hole." —Jimmy Kimmel (7:50 in below video)
2011: No One Is Excited About a Bloomberg Party
"Tonight is not about our political differences; tonight is really about the afterparties. I keep hearing about how everyone is excited to go to the Bloomberg party. You know how I know I'm not in New York? In New York, no one is excited to go to a Bloomberg party. In New York, a Bloomberg party is five people smoking outside a bar complaining about Bloomberg." —Seth Meyers (4:04 in below video)
2009: If Sean Hannity Were Waterboarded
"Sean Hannity said he was going to get waterboarded for charity, for our armed forces. He hasn't done it yet, I see.… [Maybe he could take] a waterboarding by someone you know or trust, but let somebody from Pakistan waterboard him. Keith Olbermann, let Keith Olbermann waterboard him. He can't take a waterboarding. I can break Sean Hannity just by giving him a middle seat in coach." —Wanda Sykes (13:02 in below video)
2008: Bill O'Reilly's Rom-Com
"Fox News has my favorite, the gorgeous and smoldering Bill O'Reilly. Man, that is sexy. Bill O'Reilly who's locked in that feud with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.… Everybody thinks they hate each other, you know what I see there? Sexual tension, that's what I see. That's a romantic comedy waiting to happen." —Craig Ferguson (11:50 in below video)
2006: Faux Conservative Makes the Case for George Bush
"I stand by this man. I stand by this man, because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world." —Stephen Colbert (0:40 in below video)
2004: There's News on MSNBC Sometimes
"In the interest of full disclosure, let me say I work for the same company that owns MSNBC, which is an amazing news station. How they manage to cram a half hour of news into a 24-hour broadcast day, I don't know.… Why do you cable people feel the need to have the scroll at the bottom of the screen? Americans don't like to read, that's why they're watching television." —Jay Leno (37:50 in below video)
2002: Ozzy and Bush Are Sort of Alike, No?
"You know, Ozzy Osbourne and the president, they have a lot in common. First of all, they both love their families, they're both family men. They both partied a little too hard when they were younger. Half the time you can't understand a word either one of them are saying." —Drew Carey (44:50 in below video)
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