2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner: who gave the funniest speech?

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was held last night. There were some stars and celebrities there, and we’ll cover the fashion tomorrow. Today, let’s just talk about the speeches. First up, POTUS. As I’ve said before, Pres. Obama is a funny guy. He knows how to tell a joke, he understands timing and delivery. I felt like Obama kept it pithy and his speech seemed somewhat short (he clocked in under 20 minutes). My favorite jokes? The Boehner “Orange is the New Black” one (it got a huge laugh) and the whole Cliven Bundy riff.

Here’s Joel McHale’s speech (which came after the President’s speech). A lot of people in the room were groaning throughout Joel’s speech, but I thought it was mostly funny. Too many fat jokes about Gov. Christie (although I laughed at the “extender belt” joke), but McHale’s takedown of Christie’s Bridgegate saga was perfection. I was really impressed by McHale’s performance overall – I like McHale, but before last night, I always thought of him as more of comedic lightweight. But he deftly handled the room and seemed comfortable going after power players.

And just for giggles, here’s the wonderful pre-taped bit Joe Biden did with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Guest appearance by Michelle Obama!



Photos courtesy of Getty, WHCD.

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71 Responses to “2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner: who gave the funniest speech?”

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  1. red viper says:

    That last picture with the iron throne…haha

  2. A.Key says:

    Is he really sitting on the iron throne?? LMAO, that’s brilliant.

    • KB says:

      It’s photoshop. The joke was about him using executive orders and he said something like “the truth is I just go and do my job every day, I think we have a picture..” And then they put this photo up on the screen. Then the White House tweeted the photo with the caption “The Westeros Wing.”

  3. Luca26 says:

    Orange Is the New Black is such a great joke whoever wrote that is my everything.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Ok, I feel really stupid but I didn’t get it. Was it a fake tan joke?

      • Luca26 says:


      • M.A.F. says:

        It has something to do with the show on Netflix (which I don’t watch).

      • Blannie says:

        John Boehner always looks orange with his fake tan. And of course Obama is black. So yes, it’s a hilarious fake tan joke about Boehner.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Ok, Blannie, thanks. That’s what I thought. That or a prison joke since prisoners wear orange, but that didn’t make sense re Boehner.

        Lol, Luca you were not very helpful

      • Antonym says:

        You’ve guessed it, Goodnames. Boehner has sported oompa-loompa level fake tans.

        Edit to add, this is a name change for me. Hope that’s ok.

      • mimif says:

        Did you hear the whole joke, Goodnames?

        “These days, House Republicans give John Boehner a harder time than they give me,” Obama said. “Which means orange really is the new black.”

        It’s like a triple entendre; you have Boehner’s fake tan, the reference to hit show Orange Is The New Black (dark comedy about prison), and the irony of the Repubs being harder on one of their own.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Thank, mimi, that’s what I thought, but everybody was saying that is was the funniest joke ever, so I thought I missed something bcs I don’t watch that show. Thanks for trying to prove I’m not just stupid, though.

      • mimif says:

        Anything for you, Goodnames. 🍹

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Ooh, is that a Bloody Mary? Yum, thanks!

      • Luca26 says:

        Goodnames my bad I misread the comment which just shows how slow I am 🙂

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        That’s ok, Luca, it’s slow Sunday!

  4. Sixer says:

    Gotsta give it to Obama – he does this shiznit very well.

    We don’t have anything like this in the UK. Well, unless you count PMQs as a jokey affair (sigh). All we get is the usual political droning.

    • LAK says:

      I thorough enjoy PMQs. It’s so ridiculous for so many reasons. *shuffles off shamefaced*

    • Sixer says:

      I shan’t lie: I love it, too. I watch the Daily Politics on Wednesdays without fail. Quite what good it does for democracy, however, I’m not sure. And we must face it: the jokes are nowhere near Obama standard!

      Claim to fame (once removed): my cousin graduated Essex Uni on the same course and in the same year as John Bercow.

    • bluhare says:

      Are you guys talking about when they lay into the PM in Parliament? If so, I’ve always wished we did something like that here.

    • Tatjana says:

      We don’t have anything like that either. To be honest, I prefer it like that. American politics is way to showbizzy for my taste.

    • Kimble says:

      Much as she was NOT a favourite of mine – Margaret Thatcher was the best ever at PMQ’s – fantastic at thinking on her feet and could delivery the best put-downs to the opposition!

    • Sixer says:

      I would like it to be less rehearsed – which is kinda what I meant when I said we don’t have anything resembling a correspondents dinner. Such an event is the place for rehearsed mockery and jokes (which I do like) – not the weekly holding to account of the government. And I would like the PM to be sanctioned in some way when he fails to answer the question.

      But I do love the theatre of it. And particularly any Dennis Skinner contribution.

  5. KodochiiR says:

    Man I went to DM and everyone was whining about this whole dinner (how it’s become a celeb fest instead of one with regular people) and most of the people here, so far, seem to be okay with it. I don’t know if I should be surprised or not.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Hasn’t it always been a celeb fest? It has in my memory.

      • mimif says:

        Remember when LiLo went? The equivalent of Kimye being on the cover of Vogue.

      • Kori says:

        It hasn’t always but probably since the Clinton era. I forget when celebs started going in large numbers.

      • KC says:

        It has been. On CSPAN while people were filing into the ballroom, they were listing off all the celebs that attended it in the 40s and 50s.

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I thought Obama was funny. He’s good at that sort of thing. McHale bored me. I thought the VEEP take-off was cute.

  7. Cora says:

    I have to say, I loved McHale’s Clooney joke. 😀

  8. aims says:

    Obama always brings it. He’s so funny. A lot of the time he’s funnier than the comedian.

  9. Nibbi says:

    Mybama killed it- I always love it when he does these things.
    Joel McHale- not so much.

  10. lily says:

    Obama really does have a good sense of humor. His jokes about Boehner and Putin are hilarious.

  11. Hannah says:

    WOW, Joe Biden is an amazing actor!!

  12. MimiW says:

    I for one don’t find anything this administration or media does funny. So many unemployed and suffering. I know this site is full of kool-aid drinkers but I am going to say my peace.

    • mimif says:

      I don’t want to come across as divisive, but did you mean ‘piece’? ✌️

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Lol, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t peace.

      • mimif says:

        I see your Kool-Aid and raise you a Jello Shot!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Down the hatch!

      • Mrs Odie says:

        She has you there!

        I love Joel McHale and always have. He loves fat jokes, and that ain’t cool, but I’ve never 100% loved any comic’s routine. His lampoon of Christie’s response to the bridge scandal was spot on. Satire at its best.

        Biden was wonderful. Veep should give him a full time spot.

      • Mich says:


    • MissTrial says:

      Gawd mimiw, this is a tradition. All admins do this regardless of the climate or party in is in office. It is increasingly ‘Hollywood’ but it is not new.

      Enough with the blanket comments. That you find nothing funny about anything done in the “media” or ” this administration” is beyond ridiculous and biased. Lighten up.

    • zut alors! says:

      I have friends who are Tang drinkers and we all co-exist peacefully.

    • Bucky says:

      Except that the unemployment rate is back to where it was pre-recession. But by all means, carry on with your “peace”.

    • A.Key says:

      The only thing that’s not funny here is people with no sense of humor.

    • bluhare says:

      LOL. So you must yearn for the good old days, then. Where men were men and shot their friends in the face.

      I like the new days, where a President goes to a correspondent’s dinner with an inspired routine (lion king and Trump’s birth certificate), while knowing that people were on their way to bin Laden. I still am amazed at how he did that.

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        “…where men were men and shot their friends in the face.” I bow to you, Bluhare. My very favorite post of the day.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Lol. Poor Cheney. Shoots one little friend and people never forget it.

      • cr says:

        I still go back and look at Obama’s reaction to Seth Meyer’s bin Laden joke from three years ago. You’d never had known that they’d already delayed the operation from that day and were going to try again the next day.
        Now looking back at SecDef Gate’s reaction you might be able to read something into it, but not the President’s.

    • MissTrial says:


      Just a question: did you find it “funny” when former POTUS Bush joked about looking for WMDs under his desk? If I recall that was at a correspondents dinner and many were suffering and had suffered due to that ‘intelligence’ issue.

      And, I never liked Kool Aid.

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        Great point, MissTrial. And I might add, “…and dying and had died.”

      • Lilacflowers says:

        MissTrial, I repeated your question because I hadn’t scrolled all the way through the thread. I never liked Kool Aid either.

      • JosieCool says:

        LMAO, the ol’ “Bush did it too!” argument…Funny, this site didn’t bother covering the 2006 WH Correspondent’s dinner. If they had, I’m sure there’d be a whole bunch of you screaming about how the poors are suffering while Bush was having fun. Grow up and realize that the CIC doesn’t give a shit if you think he’s cool, the FLOTUS doesn’t give a shit if you think she’s got that steeze, and the VP is judging all you MFers while zipping around DC in his cute little yellow sports car. They are all the same and anyone with half a brain should be outraged that our president would take part in such a trivial event while the country is hurting financially. And before anyone dares to scream “Republican!” , I’m independent and voted for this guy twice.

      • MissTrial says:


        The dinner is a tradition, all admins have one. There was one after 9/11 ( only difference was, I think the comedian MC was missing, there were still jokes.) So sick of the line ” Bush did it too” –in response to things that yes, the former POTUS DID DO but more importantly, other presidents have done. There were presidents before Obama and Bush who held these dinners, it is a tradition.

        You post that you are an independent , use independent thought then…this is not a one-sided or specific to one admin event. It’s silly to act as if all politicians don’t participate or that the presidential admin, no matter who is in office, does not have this event.

        The general so & so doesn’t care about you isn’t specific to any party or any person yet your posts seems to make it that way.

        And, honestly, I am not a big FLOTUS fan but like the Let’s Move Campaign. Obesity is an issue in America. That campaign is a great idea. When I grew up in America we had gym class and president’s fitness challenges and all sorts of activities. Times have changed but it is a good idea in some cases to get back to basic physical activity. I know not of what in in the First Lady’s mind but she poked fun at her own initiative, what is wrong with that?

        You do realize the references you used about the VP are skits, right?
        And to call people “MFers?” Really?

        “They are all the same and anyone with half a brain should be outraged that our president would take part in such a trivial event while the country is hurting financially” —is such a silly, preachy comment.

        The line about who you voted for? Yawn, not relevat at all.

        (And I agree with others about the kool aid comment, tacky & insensitive. Again, I’ve never liked kool aid.)

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Just curious but did you find it amusing when the previous administration joked during the dinner about not being able to find weapons of mass destruction in the curtains of the Oval Office, after killing 4,000 of our own and countless innocent Iraqi civilians supposedly searching for the weapons it knew didn’t exist? Nobody suffered as a result, right? Just curious. If you were appalled by that, as any sentient human should have been, then, fine, be unamused by the current administration. By the way, I lost a job because of the previous administration and supporters of that administration repeatedly tried to end my unemployment benefits, benefits for which I paid taxes.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      @MimiW, also curious to know whether you are aware that “Kool-Aid drinkers” refers to the 918 people who died after drinking poisoned Kool-Aid at the Jonestown massacre, an event to which many find casual references, such as yours, not only unamusing but extremely offensive. I have decided to view women who use such references with a great deal of concern and pity because they have chosen, for the most part, to blindly follow and parrot the males who have coined that praise, who have made it abundantly clear that they believe women cannot think for themselves and should remain subservient to men at all times, even when it comes to such issues as deciding the medical course of treatment for such things as ovarian cysts.

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ Lilacflowers: I completely agree that “kool aid” references are tacky, even offensive, but I think you’re mistaken about who actually started slinging it around.

        I’m an Aussie (so have minimal exposure to American politics, and zero exposure to Kool-Aid which isn’t sold here), and yet I still remembered hearing the phrase a decade or more ago. So I looked it up. I’m guessing you’re maybe too young to remember, but according to wiki, it was first used in the early 80’s – against Reagan. It was also used against Bush. It seems to be lefties who originally coined the phrase.

        Which does not make it okay for Republicans to throw it around now, I just thought you might want to know because it kind of ruins your rant about ovary-dominating males. (Which is a pity, because it really was quite a lovely rant!)

        (For the record, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I tend to vote for the Greens in Australia. So in American politics I’d probably be deemed an far-left tree-hugging hippy. A far-left tree-hugging hippie who’s now curious as to what Kool-Aid actually tastes like!)

      • MissTrial says:

        We’re on the same page lilacflowers.

        ( I initially typed ‘sane page’ –just a typo and started to leave it alone…)

    • Sixer says:

      Honestly? I think we are all kool-aid drinkers to some extent, such is the power of the politicians, vested interests and media trying to control our opinions in their favour. But 1) that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with jokes in times of adversity, or 2) that someone who disagrees politically has necessarily been drinking anything.

      The trick comes in being aware that there is a lot of kool-aid swishing about. If you are, you’re less likely to drink it.

      I understood the kool-aid allusion to Jonestown – but hadn’t really considered the patriarchal implications. Pause for thought – but it does seem a reasonably succinct way to refer to any manipulation of the masses by the powerful. And an equally succinct way of being rude to people who disagree with you politically, eh, MimiW?! (Sorry, no offence).

  13. Mich says:

    Nineteen minutes and 57 seconds of pure genius.

  14. KC says:

    I liked the Biden skit the most.

    The room didn’t like Joel much, it was like they didn’t know if they were allowed to laugh or not. However, I did like his long take down of Chris Christie with Joel apologizing for a joke and investigating himself for it.

  15. Abbott says:

    There was a conscious effort to curb the – Uhhh- attendance of the controversial celebs. Put the focus back on the correspondence. Intentionally boring guest list.

    McHale was pretty bad and needed to use the TelePrompTer instead of the paper. I did enjoy the Clooney joke, but everyone mainly groaned throughout his speech.

  16. Country girl says:

    So nice to see a post about someone in the media other than celebrities and royals!

  17. It is what it is says:

    Why are politicians spending time on this instead of actual problems? With the mental capacity of some democrats, I’m sure their jokes took days to memorize.

    I realize this is a pretty liberal site with lots of followers, but opinions from both sides should be considered.

    • MissTrial says:

      It is what it is: what a ridiculous post. You do know both parties participate in the dinner and it happens during all admins? So ” both sides” in your comment means what? There is a dem in the house , so…

      Why is this some type of referendum on ” mental capacity of some democrats?” What is that about?
      Get real, those type of statements make you look small and say more about the ” mental capacity” of the person making the comments than their target. So sick of the us vs them nonsense.