5th UPDATE – FINAL: (See McHale and Obama videos here and here) If last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner with headliner Conan O’Brien was white bread bland, tonight’s event was just painful. In way way over his head, Joel McHale stumbled and sputtered through a routine that got more moans and groans from the packed Washington Hilton ballroom than laughs. With failed one-liners about runaway production, Robert De Niro’s career choices, Jessica Simpson’s historical knowledge, the Kardashians’ sex lives, George Clooney’s political affiliations, Bill Clinton’s qualifications as a grandfather and a slew of other poorly conceived and badly executed jokes, the Community star left the stage after 30-minutes to weak applause from the 2,600 guests. At least he made President Obama’s speech and his now standard swipes at cable news look good in comparison. Obama’s sharpest line of the night came courtesy of Netflix when Obama sympathized with House Speaker John Boehner’s problem with his fellow Republicans. “Which means orange really is the new black,” quipped the President with perfect timing. At another pop culture point, Obama made a nod to HBO’s Game Of Thrones. The Commander-in-Chief envoked the merciless acts of the ruler of the fictional Seven Kingdoms when he joked about enacting more executive actions and just doing his job every day as a doctored pic appeared on the video monitors.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 4, 2014
Besides the speeches, the mixed crowd of Hollywood, D.C. and captains of industry were entertained by a video featuring real life Vice-President Joe Biden and HBO’s fictional VP Selina Meyer (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus on a tear around D.C. and the White House kitchen. In addition, there was also an earnest History Channel-produced video about the White House Correspondents Association, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. (For the complete play-by-play, take a look at our live blog below)
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) May 4, 2014
Related: Hollywood Guests At 2014 WHCD
With no Kevin Spacey, no Stephen Spielberg and no Jeffrey Katzenberg the Hollywood wattage was a little lower than usual but then again Robert De Niro was there and so were at least three Presidents: The real one plus Scandal’s Tony “President Fitzgerald Grant” Goldwyn and House Of Cards’ Michael “President Garrett Walker” Gill. Basically the entire main casts of Scandal and House of Cards where there except for respectively Kerry Washington and Kevin Spacey. Harvey Weinstein was back for another year, while Universal President & COO Ron Meyer was pulled into a cell phone photo with the studio’s Ride Along box office champ Kevin Hart. 12 Years A Slave‘s Lupita Nyong’o got all the cameras turning her way with that polka-dot dress, with Modern Family’s cleavage covered Sofia Vergara not exactly being ignored by photographers either. The Good Wife‘s Julianna Margulies posed with Barbara Walters.
Also showing up: Frozen’s Kristen Bell, Katie Couric, Julie Delpy, Patrick Duffy, David Gregory, Savannah Guthrie, Arianna Huffington, Mindy Kaling, former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing and French Connection director Billy Friedkin, John Leguizamo, Rose McGowen, 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen, Glee’s Matthew Morrison, Joe Morton, Olivia Munn, ET’s Nancy O’Dell, Molly Parker, Freida Pinto, Tonight Show bandleader and Roots drummer Questlove, Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson, Rosario Dawson, Dax Shepard, Jessica Simpson, GMA’s Lara Spencer, AOL’s Tim Armstrong, Morgan Spurlock, George Stephanopoulos, Sir Patrick Stewart, Madeleine Stowe, Oscar winner Tilda Swinton, Lindsey Vonn (sans Mr. Woods) with Will.i.am who is making the rounds in D.C. and set to appear on Meet the Press tomorrow morning. Crossfire co-host Van Jones was one of many CNNers at the dinner too, including headman Jeff Zucker.
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) May 4, 2014
4th UPDATE, 8:55 PM: If you want to know how to die in front of the President of the United States, the D.C. Press Corps and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, ask Joel McHale The Community star was a total bomb tonight at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.