Jon Favreau, Graydon Carter at the 2009 Bloomberg & Vanity Fair Cocktail Reception
Photo - BILLY FARRELL/PatrickMcMullan.com
President Obama owned the room at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner before some 3,000 elites in the Washington Hilton Ballroom. While the President’s charisma and innate comic timing carried him through the night, he did have a little help from his scribes.
Speechwriters Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett led the charge with timely references, including a video where the President welcomes a “Pirate” to the Oval Office (a tip of the feather-topped hat to Bloomberg Media guest Richard Phillips, Captain of the Maersk ship who was captured by Somali pirates in April 2009 and valiantly rescued by US Navy SEALS).
Senior Advisor David Axelrod was one of the top presidential aides who helped come up with the visual joke.
Tom Vietor, Jeff Nussbaum, Jeff Shesol, and a few other outside joke writers helped polish the President’s speech. This year, it will also be a team effort to make sure WHCA Dinner host Jay Leno will not be the only one getting laughs.
No pirates this year, but there’s bound to be a health care joke or two tickling the crowd’s funny bone.
Politico has more on what it takes to make a president funny – on purpose.
Bookmark it now and set your calendar alert for noon ET today for the live-stream of “Top Line” on ABCNews.com. WHC Insider’s Tammy Haddad will be sitting down with ABC News’ Rick Klein to dish on all things WHCA weekend, including a preview of the annual brunch Ms. Haddad co-hosts at her home on Saturday morning.
Turns out there are actually some politicians who aren’t clamoring for one of the coveted tickets to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
As Politico points out, while the dinner has always been a place to network and schmooze with media and political heavyweights, there are some lawmakers who see more value in heading home to their constituents than swapping bon mots over cocktails.
For the past 18 years, the WHCD Garden Party has been where friends gather before one of the biggest nights in Washington. Each year the stories are unique and the guest list represent the best representation of the news and events of the moment. Last year’s garden brunch was held just a few months after the arrival of the new administration. The economic crisis was in full bloom and both the media and official Washington were all trying to figure out how adjust to the new realities. Hollywood was fascinated with the new political stars and the new political stars were still adjusting to being celebrities. Here is a look back.
There’s probably no tougher room to play for a comedian than the Washington Hilton where hundreds gather for the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, with the guest of honor – the President of the United States – seated at your side.
And this year there’s no tougher act to follow than his own for Jay Leno, just months into his second stint as the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” after a much-publicized tussle between the peacock network, Leno and Conan O’Brien.
So The Hill gathered some advice for the funny man from some fellow comedians as he preps for his hosting duties.