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Hundreds (if not thousands) of events happen in Metro Washington every season, but the White House Correspondents Dinner has to be amongst my absolute favorites. Undoubtedly one of the biggest affairs of the year, “Nerd Prom,” (as it is affectionately referred to) is one of the few that specifically caters to the media industry. It is also a favorite amongst these professionals (such as yours truly) as WHCD is one of the rare moments in which a laundry list of notable celebrities can be spotted around town. Asking Glee star Kevin McHale if he found dancing in a wheelchair difficult, talking social activism with Wilmer Valderrama and spotting Tracey Morgan mean-mugging on the red carpet will always remain nostalgic career highlights for me.
I’ve never personally attended the dinner; my journalistic pieces rarely cover political or matters relating to the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania, nor am I nearly important enough to snag a personal invite. Instead, I troll social media for real-time updates and promptly watch YouTube videos covering WHCD as soon as they’re available. (And if I’m lucky enough to score an invitation, attend the luxe after parties!) In honor of next week’s festivities, this Throwback Thursday post is dedicated to my favorite stories of Nerd Proms past. Check out the video clips below to find out what unforgettable WHCD moments made the cut!
Laura Bush Admitting To Being a “Desperate Housewife”
Former First Lady Laura Bush took the podium at the 2005 WHCD and said: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been attending these dinners for years, and just quietly sitting there. Well, I’ve got a few things I want to say for a change.”
She even called out George W. for being especially early to bed. “Nine o’clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I’m watching Desperate Housewives,” she continued, “with Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife.”
Steven Colbert Roasts George W. Bush + Is Harsh AF
The year was 2006; George W. Bush was in the last few years of his presidency and to say he was less than popular is putting it nicely. Unfortunately for Dub-Yah, everyone knew it too — including 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner host Steven Colbert.
In true Colbert fashion, he didn’t hold back one bit as he roasted the former President on every issue ranging from his awful approval rating to his seemingly endless parade of public photo-ops and everything in between. Reactions to his bluntness were mixed; gasps from the audience can be heard and White House officials were mad AF.
But honestly, who cares? It’s the one event of the year where media types (including Colbert) can speak their mind. And some things really needed to be said.
Obama Predicts The Future + Spits Some Truth At Donald Drumpf
While how great (or not great) of a President Barack Obama has been is still yet to be determined, the man can absolutely throw some shade smothered in truth. And as seen in this 2011 Nerd Prom clip, he may just have a knack for predicting the future as well.
At the time, Donald Drumpf was particularly pissed off that his attempts to get POTUS to release his birth certificate had failed. Obama took this opportunity to express his sheer annoyance with a dose of sarcasm and the Donald was less than pleased.
Obama said ““Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate to rest than The Donald,” Obama started. “Now he can get to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened at Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?All kidding aside, we all know about your credentials and experience,” the president continued. “In Celebrity Apprentice, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha steaks, but you recognized that this was a lack of leadership, so you fired Gary Busey. These are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well-handled, sir. Well-handled.” Harsh Mr. President, but oh so true.
Seth Meyers Ponders Bin Laden’s Whereabouts While Obama Laughs
Comedian Seth Meyers was the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner host and made a special point to discuss the fight against terrorism while at the podium. Back then, Osama Bin Laden was still at large and the United States had spent years trying to track him down. Meyers suggested that the notorious terrorist was taking inspiration from the movie, The Thomas Crown Affair, and hiding in plain sight.
President Obama responded to his comparison with a wide-smile and laughter. Of course, only a very select group of people knew that he already gave approval for the SEAL Team Six operation that would ultimately lead to Bin Laden’s discovery and death. Just 24 hours later, POTUS would make the announcement public.
Obama Responds To Haters Via Anger Translator
Everyone has to deal with haters at some point in their life, and the President of the United States is no exception. Since taking office in 2008, Obama has come under fire for a number of issues from health care to debt and national security.
While I have no clue how he personally handles being the subject of international conversation (and not always in a positive way), enlisting comedian Keegan-Michael Kay as an anger translator during the 2015 WHCD is downright creative and hilarious.