U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s skin tone, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s weight and Donald Trump’s hair all have been targets of jokes at past White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) annual dinners. But don’t expect this year’s version Saturday to have the same insulting humor. Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live” said she’s not going to get too personal with the quips when she hosts the 2015 event.
“I have my own limits. I don’t want to be too mean where it really hurts somebody,” Strong told Capitol File magazine. “I’d rather do things we can all laugh [about]. I’d like to be able to make fun of myself as much as anyone else. I don’t want to make fun of the way someone looks -- things like that. Children are off-limits. There are definitely people in that room whom I respect and admire a lot.”
Aka the Nerd Prom, the WHCA dinner is a rare event where the worlds of politics and entertainment collide. It’s probably the only place inside or outside Washington where the actor who plays Jaime Lannister on “Game of Thrones” and the rapper Killer Mike can hang out with the head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michael Render and Fred Hochberg all are expected at the dinner this year).
While the dinner is known for its humor, there’s actually more to the gala than just jokes. The occasion is organized by the WHCA, which represents the White House press corps and helps reporters navigate Washington.
Below are looks back at the best jokes at past WHCA dinners.
McHale, an actor on the situation comedy “Community” and the host of “The Soup,” headlined the 2014 dinner. Watch him joke about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s weight and the George Washington Bridge scandal surrounding the potential U.S. presidential candidate in 2016:
In less than three minutes, Kimmel roasted the Secret Service sex scandal, President Barack Obama’s ears and the commander in chief’s low approval ratings in April 2012:
At the dinner last year, the president joked about why the Fox News Channel will miss the end of his presidency and used self-deprecating humor to talk about his sagging poll numbers heading into the 2014 midterm elections:
In 2006, President George W. Bush had impersonator Steve Bridges alongside him for his shtick at the correspondents’ dinner. See the uncanny resemblance below: