This evening, Jimmy Kimmel will take a shot at skewering President Obama, media and celebs in the audience and, very likely, the Secret Service and GSA at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. But taking a look back at years past gives a quick reminder of what the hot issues and big targets of the moment were.
2011: Seth Meyers hosted last year and was tough on the early GOP presidential primary field (especially Donald Trump). Osama bin Laden was still the butt of jokes; remember, it wasn’t until the next evening that it was revealed he’d been killed by SEAL Team Six agents in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Memorable joke: “The president and Joe Biden were not invited to the royal wedding, and when Biden found out he immediately said to the president: You, me, Wedding Crashers 2. I’ll book us two Amtrak tickets to London.”
That year, Obama introduced his “birth video” to quell doubt about his origins (in the form of a “Lion King” clip). He acknowledged the early glow of his presidency had faded, and like Meyers, was hard on Trump.
Memorable joke: “Yes, I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to my presidency, the honeymoon is over . . . [Some] say that I’m arrogant, but I’ve found a really great self-help tool for this: My poll numbers.”
2009: At his first dinner, Obama poked fun at his popularity, while comedian Wanda Sykes targeted Rush Limbaugh in a controversial joke.
Memorable joke: “During the second 100 days, we will design, build and open a library dedicated to my first 100 days.”
2008:President Bush spoke about how it was his last year at the dinner, and what might be next for him.
Memorable joke: “After he left office, Vice President Gore won an Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize. Hey, I don’t know, I might win a prize — Publisher’s Clearinghouse, or something.”
2006: In Stephen Colbert’s infamous roast of the former president, a sort of defining moment for the comedian’s sensibility, the topics of the day were NSA wiretapping, Iraq, and President Bush’s approval ratings.
Memorable joke: “Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. Now, I know some of you are going to say, I did look it up and that’s not true. That’s because you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut.”
For more, we’ve gathered photos from past years highlighting guests and hosts back to Frank Sinatra in 1945:
Read more on the White House Correspondents’ Dinner: