President Joe Biden addressed the White House Correspondents’ Association on Saturday night, the first time a president has spoken at the event in six years. The event was cancelled during the pandemic, and former president Donald Trump shunned the event while he was in office.
The correspondents’ dinner debuted in 1921. Three years later, Calvin Coolidge became the first president to attend and all have since, except Trump. Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon opted not to attend every year of their presidencies, however, and Ronald Reagan, then recovering from an assassination attempt, missed the 1981 installment — but called in from Camp David.
Here are some of the most notable jokes from Saturday’s dinner.
Biden dig at Fox News over vaccines
“I know there are a lot of questions about whether we should gather here tonight because of COVID. Well, we’re here to show the country that we’re getting through this pandemic. Plus, everyone has to prove they are fully vaccinated and boosted,” Biden said. “Just contact your favorite Fox News reporter. They’re all here. Vaccinated and boosted.”
The room exploded with laughter as cameras on CSPAN quickly cut to Fox’s White House Corespondent Peter Doocy, who cracked a smirk.
Biden roasts Trump
“We had a horrible plague followed by two years of Covid,” he said. “Just imagine if my predecessor came to this dinner this year, now that would really have been a real coup if that occurred.”
Biden jokes about his poll numbers
“A special thanks to the 42 percent of you that actually applauded,” Biden said after being introduced. “I’m really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have.”
Biden dig at Fox News Again
“Fox News, I’m really sorry your candidate lost the last election,“ the President went on to say to the Rupert Murdoch-owned cable newser. “To make it up to you, I’m happy to give my Chief of Staff to you so he can tell Sean Hannity what to say every day,“ a pointed Biden said in reference to the now-public relationship between Mark Meadows and the FNC host.
Biden teases at the GOP and Mickey Mouse and some guy called Brandon
“Today’s Republicans say tear down Mickey Mouse’s house,” he exclaimed in the latest round of the always popular culture wars. “Pretty soon, they’ll be storming Cinderella’s castle, you can be sure of it.”
“Republicans seem to support one fella, some guy named Brandon,” Biden said in grinning reference to the coded insult against him that has become a MAGA chant. “He’s having a good year, I’m kind of happy for him.”
Noah jokes about CNN+
“‘Jeff (Jeffrey Zucker) got fired off because he tried to keep his workplace relationship secret, which is weird, because if he really didn’t want anyone to know about him, he could have just made a show about it on CNN Plus!”
Noah roast Biden economy and Russia
“Ever since you came into office, things are already looking up,” Noah said to Biden. “Gas is up, rent is up, food is up. Everything…”
Biden saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot remain in power “was very upsetting to Russia, until someone explained to them that nothing that Biden wants actually gets done,” Noah said.
Noah takes a dig at Kyrsten Sinema
“Who ever thought we’d see the day when a senator could be openly bisexual but a closeted Republican?”
Noah takes a dig at Fox News
“Fox News is sort of like a Waffle House,” Noah said. “It’s relatively normal in the afternoon, but as soon as the sun goes down…”
I think people need to be held accountable if they’re using their dad’s name to get ahead in life and I can’t think of anyone better to ask about that than Peter Doocy,” he said of Fox News’ White House correspondent whose father is “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy.