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Joel McHale hit Hollywood and Washington hard during his White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner speech at the Washington Hilton on Saturday night.
During his remarks, he took on President Barack Obama, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Robert De Niro, among many others. And his quips may have hit too close to home for some. After the event, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer told The Hollywood Reporter McHale was “on the edge,” while others said some jokes worked, but others didn’t. Generally audience members thought he performed well.
McHale, who features on NBC’s Community and hosts E!’s entertainment show The Soup, follows a line of high-profile comedians who’ve emceed the event. TBS late night host Conan O’Brien presided over the gala in 2013 and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel hosted a year earlier.
Here are five of his most biting jokes (drawn from the full transcript available at The Washington Post):
On President Obama: “Mr. President, your harshest critics have compared you to Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and even Satan. And I just have to say those comparisons are outrageous. You look way older than those guys. Just because — look, Morgan Freeman has played a president a few times? That doesn’t mean you have to look exactly like him, all right?”
On Chris Christie: McHale mocked the Bridgegate scandal that has rocked Christie’s administration recently. After making fun of Christie’s weight, McHale said, “I’m sorry for that joke. I didn’t know I was going to tell it … I was unaware it happened until just now. I’m appointing a blue-ribbon commission of me to investigate the joke I just told. “
On Robert De Niro: “Legendary actor Robert De Niro is here tonight, everyone. Now, I don’t do a De Niro impression, but I do an impression of Robert De Niro’s agent. Ready? Here it is. ‘Ring ring — he’ll do it!’,” McHale said.
On Nancy Pelosi: “And I am not going to spoil that shocking twist on House of Cards. But just know that it was so surprising, Nancy Pelosi’s face almost changed expression. Did you like that one, Nancy? I can’t tell.”
On Veep: “There’s a lot of celebrities here tonight; they’re the ones that don’t look like ghouls. Look around. The cast of Veep is here. That’s the series about what would happen if a Seinfeld star actually landed on another good show. I like New Adventures of Old Christine, I swear.”
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