The 14 Best Lines from Obama's 2014 White House Correspondents' Dinner Speech — VIDEO
President Barack Obama is known for killing it with the jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner and this year was no different. The fancy Washington evening is a chance for the press, Hollywood, and the White House to get together (wait, isn't that every night?), and generally features a speech from a comedian — this year, Community star Joel McHale — and the real show-stopper of the night, the president. Last year, Obama took Donald Trump to task for his absurd crusade on discovering Obama's "real" place of birth, and, fresh off a successful 2012 election, ribbed prominent Republicans. This year, Obama stepped up to the dais at the front of the room in the Washington Hilton Hotel to do it all over again.
No president has managed self-deprecation at the dinner quite so well as Obama; he always manages to turn a joke on himself into a not-so-subtle rib on his detractors. Last year, he spun a crack about his whitening hair into one about his opponents' tendency to play up (racist) Americans' beliefs about his ancestry and religion.
These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.
This year, the joker-in-chief got another shot at entertaining Hollywood and the press corps. Without further ado, here are the best jokes from this year's speech, in order of their telling:
1. The 47 Percent
Obama took shots at his rough last year with a few one-liners, starting off with one referencing Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" comment.
I admit it, last year was rough. Sheesh, at one point things got so bad the 47 percent called Mitt Romney to apologize!
The rocky rollout of Healthcare.gov got a shout-out from Obama on Saturday night.
Of course, we rolled out Healthcare.gov. That could’ve gone better. In 2008, my slogan was, "Yes we can." In 2013, my slogan was Ctrl-Alt-Del.
He also made an amazing visual reference to Disney's Frozen, saying this while displaying the movie's poster on a screen:
On the plus side, they did turn the launch of Healthcare.gov into one of the year’s biggest movies.
3. On comedian Joel McHale
It's traditional for the president to rip into the comedian who will roast him. Here was Obama's gibe at Joel:
On Community, Joel plays a preening self-obsessed narcissist, so this dinner must be a real change of pace for you.
4. On CNN's coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Obama took CNN to task for its much-derided coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight while referencing his recent trip overseas. CNN was called out by many for their attempts to somehow "find the plane" with excessive coverage.
I am happy to be here, even though I am a little jetlagged 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.
5. On MSNBC's low ratings
Poor MSNBC. It's been dealing with ever-slipping ratings lately, and Obama made sure to call them out for it.
MSNBC is here. They’re a little overwhelmed. They’ve never seen an audience this big before.
6. On Fox and Friends
Fox and Friends' male weekday anchors Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade got a call-out from Obama at the dinner, too, while referencing his recently successful appearance on Zach Galifianakis' show Between Two Ferns. "I’m not the first person on television between two potted plants," he said, as an image of Elisabeth Hasselbeck between Doocy and Kilmeade popped up on the screen.
7. On Cliven Bundy
On the racist rancher, Obama had took a shot at Rand Paul and added this:
As a general rule, things don’t end well if the sentence starts with “Let me tell you something I know about the Negro.”
8. On Fox News
Obama used the conservative Koch brothers, known for funneling their money into conservative groups, as a set-up for a joke about Fox.
The Koch brothers bought a table, but as usual they used a shadowy right-wing organization as a front — hello, Fox News. I’m just kidding — let’s face it, Fox, you’ll miss me when I’m gone.
It’ll be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.
9. On his smoking habit
Obama went ahead and called out his smoking habit in this self-deprecating one-liner about super-PACs.
I remember when a super PAC was just me buying Marlboros 100s instead of regulars.
10. On his poll numbers
Obama poked fun at himself and his lagging poll numbers, suggesting former President Bill Clinton was a more popular pick for Democrats seeking re-election in the upcoming midterms.
I did notice the other day that Sasha needed a speaker at career day, and she invited Bill Clinton. I was a little hurt about that.
11. On John Boehner
Perhaps Obama's best joke of the night was this one directed at Speaker of the House John Boehner (he was referencing Boehner's characteristic orange-colored tan.
These days the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me — which means orange really is the new black!
12. On Chris Christie
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got more than his share of the jokes on Saturday night after spending a lot of time in the past year dealing with a hometown scandal that's come to be known as simply "Bridgegate." Obama referenced the traffic scandal in this jab.
Gridlock has gotten so bad in this town, you have to wonder what’d we do to piss Chris Christie off so bad?
13. On Congress
Obama made fun of Congress' lack of progress this session while talking about Republican reluctance to extend unemployment insurance.
If you wanna get paid while not working, you should have to run for Congress just like everybody else.
14. On Kathleen Sebelius
Obama made a good-natured joke about his embattled, outgoing Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, by having her come up to the lectern to fix a "problem" with a video he was trying to display. "Does anyone know how to fix this?" Obama asked, while Sebelius happily came up to help him out, saying:
I got this. I see it all the time.
Images: Disney; CNN