The weekend of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is nearly upon us. The “nerd prom,” if you like, is the annual Washington black tie event at which the president and the media who cover the White House gather for an evening of jokes and dinner. (The Reliable Source tells you everything you need to know about the event here.)
In honor of the upcoming dinner, we look back in reverse chronological order at five memorable moments from years past involving both presidents and the comedians who have hosted the event. What did we miss? The comments section awaits!
1. 2012: In the midst of a reelection campaign, President Obama poked fun at both Mitt Romney and himself, touching on a story about Mitt Romney’s old dog that had received widespread attention in the campaign.
2. 2007: The dinner fell just days after the deadly mass shooting at Virginia Tech, so then-President George W. Bush declined to tell jokes in favor of serious and brief remarks.
3. 2006: Comedian Stephen Colbert skewered Bush with a set the president wasn’t amused by, according to news accounts.
4. 2000: Bill Clinton’s last dinner was complete with a memorable faux-documentary film about the Democrat’s final months in the White House. Origami anyone?
5. 1981: Ronald Reagan was at Camp David recovering from an assassination attempt, but he still delivered remarks by phone. “If I could give you just one little bit of advice, when somebody tells you to get in a car quick, do it,” he said to laughter. Here’s the transcript of Reagan’s complete remarks that evening.
Stay tuned to The Reliable Source leading up to Saturday’s dinner for complete coverage and check out this video looking at a few other memorable moments from WHCD history: