President Obama pulled no punches Saturday night at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, D.C. During his 20-minute roast, the president torpedoed Republicans and Democrats alike, and saved some of his most unforgiving zingers for the media and his own administration.
Guffaws erupted around the room of senators, governors, White House cabinet members and a handful of Hollywood celebs as President Obama fired off one quip after another. Some of his loudest applause came after the president turned the jokes on himself, making several self-deprecating remarks about his second term as president and lampooning the White House’s botched rollout of the healthcare.gov website.
Obama was followed by actor and comedian Joel McHale – Star of E!’s “The Soup” and NBC’s “Community” – whose caustic gibes were met with a mixture of praise as well as some reproach. Several of McHale’s barbs made for some painfully awkward moments (most notably involving embattled Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.)
So who was funnier, Obama or McHale?
Here are our picks for the top 10 best jokes from the 2014 White House Correspondents' Association dinner, with No. 1 being our choice for who had the last laugh:
10. Obama on House Speaker John Boehner, Republican: "These days, House Republicans are giving [Speaker John Boehner] a harder time than they give me -- which means orange really is the new black."
9. Obama on healthcare.gov: “Of course, we rolled out healthcare.gov. That could’ve gone better.”
8. McHale on President Obama’s humor: “My favorite bit of yours was when you said you would close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay – that was hilarious.”
7. McHale on C-Span: “C-Span is like one of those ‘Paranormal Activity’ movies. It’s just grainy shots of empty rooms interrupted with images of people you’re pretty sure died a few years ago.”
6. McHale on Paul Ryan: “Good evening Mr. President—or, as Paul Ryan would call you, another inner-city minority taking advantage of the federal government to feed and house your family.”
5. Obama on the Affordable Care Act: “On the plus side, they did turn the launch of Healthcare.gov into the launch of one the year's biggest movies [to which a shot of the Disney film “Frozen” appears on the screen.]”
4. McHale on Republicans and Democrats: “I also host a show called ‘The Soup,’ which is on the E! network. To Republicans in attendance, E! is the channel that your deeply closeted gay son likes to watch. Democrats, it’s the same channel that your happy, openly gay son likes to watch.”
3. McHale on Joe Biden’s absence: “Right now, Joe Biden is elbow-deep in jalapeno peppers and talking to a construction cone he thinks is John Boehner.”
2. Obama on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy: “As a general rule, things don't end well if the sentence starts, ‘Let me tell you something I know about the Negro.' You don't really need to hear the rest of it.”
BEST JOKE: Obama on Fox News: “Let's face it, Fox, you'll miss me when I'm gone. It will be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.”
Watch the president’s White House Correspondents' Association dinner roast here:
Catch McHale's hilarious stand up here, courtesy of YouTube:
Watch the entire event, including Joel McHale’s remarks, courtesy of C-Span, here: