What happens when politics and Hollywood collide? Some epically good jokes.
At Saturday evening’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, hosted by Joel McHale, politicians, stars and athletes rubbed elbows over steak dinners at the Hilton Hotel, as fans – in person and on Twitter – oohed and ah-ed over Michelle Obama’s Grecian-inspired Marchesa gown.
While Scandal star Kerry Washington was notably absent (the actress recently gave birth to her first child), actors responsible for bringing politics to the screen filled the guest list.
“I’m addicted to House of Cards,” Katie Couric told reporters on the red carpet, as House of Cards’ Robin Wright and Scandal’sScott Foley, Katie Lowes and Bellamy Young passed by.
“I’m not going to spoil the shocking twist on House of Cards, but just know that it was so surprising that Nancy Pelosi’s face almost changed expression,” McHale deadpanned from the stage.
Scandal president Tony Goldwyn jokingly told USA TODAY if he got a great chance to meet the real president, they’ll have a “secret handshake” that only real/fake presidents know.
To kick off festivities inside the event, a short video ran that found Julia Louis-Dreyfus being picked up in a yellow Ferrari by Joe Biden (while coloring a picture Chuck Todd’s face in with a black marker), calling the annual event the “Snore-es-pondent’s Dinner.”
“Yellow? Seriously?” the Veep star asked the real veep. Then the two were off to raiding the executive wing’s kitchen, where Michelle Obama walked in on them stealing ice cream.
“What are you doing?” quizzed the first lady. “What’s in your mouth?”
“Carrots,” mumbled Louis-Dreyfus.
But the real fun started once the president reached the podium.
“I admit it, last year was rough,” said Obama. “Sheesh. At one point, 47 percent called Mitt Romney to apologize.”
“In 2008 my slogan was ‘Yes, we can!'” he continued. “In 2013, my slogan was: Control, alt, delete,” he joked, skewering his administration’s launch of Obamacare. Then, Obama flashed a photo of Frozen, noting Hollywood “had turned one of my biggest accomplishments into a feature film.”
“Let’s face the facts, you’ll miss me when I’m gone,” Obama directed to the Fox News table. “It will be harder for you to convince Americans that Hilary was born in Kenya.”
USA TODAY guests Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba even got a shout-out during the president’s monologue. “These days the House Republican actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me! Which means Orange really is the new black,” he riffed.
When McHale took over duties, he aimed straight at Obamacare’s launch.
“It was so bad!” he said from the podium. “I don’t even have an analogy, because the website is now an analogy that people use to describe other bad things. Boy that latest Johnny Depp movie really ‘healthcare.gov’d’ at the box office.‘”
The room was packed with celebs. USA TODAY guests included Jessica Simpson and Jeff Goldblum. Others present spotted included Patrick Stewart, Matthew Morrison, Anna Chlumsky, Lindsey Vonn (sans Tiger Woods), Katharine McPhee, Jeremy Irvine, Lupita Nyong’o, Julianna Margulies, Sofia Vergara, Brad Paisley, Kevin Hart, Cynthia Nixon, Tim Tebow, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, J.C. Chasez, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Olivia Munn, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fred Armisen, Richard Sherman and Harvey Weinstein.
Guest Mindy Kaling even had some wise words for all the kids tuning in. “Don’t take naked photos,” she advised.
Contributing: Ann Oldenburg, Alison Maxwell, Carly Mallenbaum, Cindy Clark, Haley Blum