I embarked on this past weekend with a couple of goals in mind: to eat some great food and catch some great musical performances at Jazz Fest (more to come on that later, maybe), and to do everything in my power to avoid the insufferable media circlejerk that is the White House Correspondents Dinner. I even went so far as to unfollow a few media types on Twitter I knew would be there tweeting incessantly about it, because a little piece of my soul dies each time the “#nerdprom” hashtag — the informal title for the dinner Ana Marie Cox bestowed upon it a few years back — flashes before my eyes. In fact, a little piece of soul died just typing it right there — the things I do for you people!
So anyway, I woke up on Sunday around 1pm (it was a good night) and found it virtually impossible to ignore the chatter about the dinner as I bounced around Twitter and Tumblr on my iPad before heading back out to the fest. Judging by what just about everyone on the web was saying, President Obama and host Seth Meyers delivered sterling comic performances at the event, both of them eviscerating new tea party/birther darling Donald Trump in the process. So I broke down and watched the videos of their speeches on CSPAN’s YouTube page, and discovered that the internet was right, as is its proclivity — Obama and Meyers verbally dismantled Trump in every possible way, and it was amazing. The real roast of Donald Trump wasn’t the one that aired recently on Comedy Central — it was the one that went down Saturday night at the Correspondents dinner.
But perhaps the most interesting part of the whole thing now — in lieu of last night’s killing of Osama Bin Laden — was Obama’s reaction to a Seth Meyers joke about Bin Laden. He just rolled with the same jolly chuckle he rolled with all night, the one displayed in the gif above, probably knowing the whole time in the back of his head that the bearded terror fiend the U.S. has been after for years was on the verge of being taken out. Here’s the joke and his reaction, after the jump.
Otherwise, the most interesting part of the dinner, in my opinion, was Trump’s utter inability to laugh at himself during the whole thing. He just sat there stonefaced as everyone in attendance, including his wife, laughed their asses off. The contrast in sense of humor between he and Obama — also brilliantly captured in the gif above– was beyond striking.
I recently heard comedian Jeffrey Ross talking about the Trump roast on Bill Simmons’ podcast and he mentioned how he had to go over to Trump after the first set and implore him to untighten his as*hole a bit. The way Ross described it, it was as if Trump had never seen a roast before and wasn’t prepared for the bashing he was taking — he was completely flustered by people making fun of him. Finally, after Ross telling him that “this will all go by so much faster if you laugh at the jokes,” he loosened up a tad. He apparently failed to remember that advice on Saturday night.
Best joke of the night was by Meyers: “Donald Trump said recently he had a ‘great relationship with the blacks.’ Unless ‘the Blacks’ area family of white people, I bet he’s mistaken.”
Anyway, here are the vids. Obama’s performance is first, followed by Seth Meyers’. They’re both about 19 minutes long but so good. Enjoy…