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Donald Trump ticked off at Seth Meyers' jokes about him at Correspondents Dinner

  • Avatar of warqueen


    [1]May 1, 2011
    • member since: 09/23/05
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    Obama mocks Trump's presidential ambitions

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama exacted his revenge Saturday after weeks of attacks from his would-be Republican challenger Donald Trump, joking that the billionaire businessman could bring change to the White House, transforming it from a stately mansion into a tacky casino with a whirlpool in the garden.

    With Trump in attendance, Obama used the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner to mock the reality TV star's presidential ambitions. The president said Trump has shown the acumen of a future president, from firing Gary Busey on a recent episode of "Celebrity Apprentice" to focusing so much time on conspiracy theories about Obama's birthplace.

    After a week when Obama released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate, he said Trump could now focus on the serious issues, from whether the moon landing actually happened to "where are Biggie and Tupac?"

    "No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than 'the Donald,'" Obama said, referring to Trump's claims the same day that he was responsible for solving the issue.

    For Trump's decision to fire actor Busey instead of rock singer Meat Loaf from his TV show earlier this month, Obama quipped: "These are the types of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir."

    And then, as a coup de grace, Obama showed a screen with his vision of how Trump could bring change to the White House. "Trump" was prominently displayed in glittery letters and girls could be seen with cocktails on a Jacuzzi-augmented front lawn.

    Edited on 05/09/2011 10:11am
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  • Avatar of warqueen


    [2]May 1, 2011
    • member since: 09/23/05
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    Trump chuckled at some of the earlier jokes, but was clearly less amused as comedian Seth Meyers picked up where Obama left off.

    "Donald Trump often talks about running as a Republican, which is surprising," said the Saturday Night Live actor, entrusted with providing some of the comedy for the evening. "I just assumed he was running as a joke."

    Trump stared icily at Meyers as he continued to criticize the real estate tycoon.

    Obama and Trump found themselves in the same room after an intense week of attacks from Trump, who has piggybacked on the birther conspiracies and even Obama's refusal to release his university grades to raise the profile of his possible presidential bid.

    And the birth certificate was clearly the key punchline for the evening, which typically offers the president a chance to show off his humorous side and a town consumed by politics and partisanship to enjoy a light-hearted affair.

    Obama's presentation started after the wrestler Hulk Hogan's patriotic anthem, "Real American," played. Images of Americana from Mount Rushmore to Uncle Sam were shown on the screen, alongside his birth certificate. And then he offered to show his live birth video, which turned out to be a clip from the Disney film, "The Lion King."...................................


    White House Correspondent's Dinner - Seth Meyers, Part 1:

    White House Correspondent's Dinner - Seth Meyers, Part 2:

    President Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner:

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  • Avatar of warqueen


    [3]May 1, 2011
    • member since: 09/23/05
    • level: 6
    • rank: Small Wonder
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    Hosting the WHCD is no joke

    Even for a seasoned comedian, delivering a perfect routine is a tall order.

    Seth Meyers, the featured funnyman at this year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, hemmed and hawed a bit before accepting the gig.

    Though honored to join the ranks of past headliners including Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno, Meyers, head writer on "Saturday Night Live" and anchor of the show's mock news report, Weekend Update, had to think about it.

    "I did kick it around," he told POLITICO. "I'm always hesitant to say yes to almost anything, mostly because of my own personal neuroses, but ... yeah, I certainly gave it a lot of thought."

    While mulling over the offer, the 37-year-old comedian put in a call to NBC colleague Brian Williams, a veteran of these dinners, for some guidance.

    "He didn't say, 'Stay away!' But he was the one who kind of reminded me what a tough room it was," Meyers said of the "Nightly News" anchor's reaction. "But that's good: His job is giving people bad news, so I'd rather hear it from him than other people."

    "All jokes aside," Meyers continued, "it's really exciting going into a room like this. The more scary thing to comedians is when you say, 'Oh, everybody kills there.' So I'd rather hear that it's a tough room, because then you go in saying, 'Well, you know, I'm in the service of my country. And that's the way I'm going to look at it.'"

    Washingtonians look forward to the annual dinner as an opportunity to see and be seen, to rub elbows with Hollywood celebrities and to enjoy some entertainment from the president and the keynote comedian. But while guests at the glitzy event can kick back and relax, for the evening's entertainment, the pressure is on until his or her last joke is cracked.

    Even for a seasoned comedian, delivering a pitch-perfect standup routine at the Correspondents' Dinner is a tall order. In fact, it's infamously one of the hardest acts to pull off.

    "I've had a lot of my D.C. friends constantly reminding me how intimidating it is — which is not what they're supposed to do when someone's got a very intimidating show," Meyers said. "But I guess it really speaks volumes about how intimidating it is that people can't even lie to me for the sake of making me confident."

    Though he seems a bit anxious about the routine that will follow President Barack Obama's quips on Saturday night, Meyers has scored plenty of laughs in the past for poking fun at Washington. Part of the "SNL" team since 2001, he delivered a dead-on impression of John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election and helped write Tina Fey's legendary impersonations of Sarah Palin during her '08 vice presidential campaign. But performing at the Correspondents' Dinner presents a unique challenge. With the president and other dignitaries in the house, striking the right tone is key: Jokes aimed at audience members can't stoop to locker-room levels, but they shouldn't be too tame, either.

    The rule of thumb based on not-so-funny flubs from years past: Comedians performing at the dinner should seek to singe but not to burn. In 2006, Colbert stirred the pot with a controversial routine that cut into then-President George W. Bush, which the comedian later admitted didn't go over very well. "The crowd practically carried me out on their shoulders, although I wasn't actually ready to leave," he later joked. Rich Little's routine in 2007, on the other hand, contained much gentler jabs but fell flat in the opposite direction.

    "I have lost count of the number of times at the head table that I have seen big entertainers all but quivering with anxiety before showtime," said longtime Washington reporter and former head of the White House Correspondents' Association Ed Chen, who now works at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Whether you are Jay Leno or Cedric the Entertainer, following POTUS [or FLOTUS, in the latter case] has got to be the toughest act in town. No wonder some of the [past] entertainers have left town humbled."

    The dinner's venue makes bringing down the house even harder. Acoustics aren't great inside the Washington Hilton ballroom. Plus, a crowd of more than 2,500 guests can be tough to win over.

    Adding to the headliner's tough task: The dinner's attendees are often more interested in the jokes that the president delivers. And even after Obama wraps up his routine, Meyers knows he'll still have to fight for the crowd's attention. He said, "The president is sitting next to you while you're telling jokes, and no matter how interesting you are to look at, you're probably not as interesting as looking at the president looking at you telling jokes.

    "The other challenge is what a great sense of humor the president has," said Meyers. Last year, Obama was decidedly funnier than "Tonight Show" host Leno.

    "In a two-horse race, I'll be happy with second if first place is the president of the United States," Meyers said. "Usually, I wouldn't take that deal. With that said, I'm not just going to cede the title. We're going to go out there and give it our best shot."

    As it turns out, Meyers may actually have a better shot at success than past headliners. While journalists have traditionally grumbled about the association's choice of comedic talent, thinking them not sufficiently enlightened picks (see Little and, to a lesser extent, Craig Ferguson, Wanda Sykes and even Leno), Meyers currently enjoys a rare status among the famously persnickety fourth estate — he's beloved.

    "Meyers will have something of a home-court advantage, because I think the people at the dinner tend to admire his work," said Huffington Post senior political editor Howard Fineman. "He's up there with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as a comedian/political analyst. Weekend Update kind of invented the genre, and Meyers has kept it going."

    Though Meyers may find himself in friendly territory inside the Beltway, as a Manhattanite raised in New Hampshire, he considers himself an outsider in D.C. "I think if you're outside of Washington, you have a much different idea of how Washington works for the people who actually live there," he said. "The strange thing for me is just how chummy D.C. is. I think it's hard for the rest of the country to understand."

    The comedian has regular interactions with political types who trek to New York for "Saturday Night Live." But this time around, he's the one traveling out of his comfort zone. "When D.C. people come to our doors, they're on our turf. When politicians come on 'SNL,' they play by our rules, which is what makes it work when they show up. This will certainly be my first away game in D.C."

    Performing for a Washington crowd, however, does have its benefits, Meyers said.

    "My hope is that, with this audience, you can probably extend out a little bit further than we can with Weekend Update with regards to targets," Meyers said. "The trickiest thing with Update is that you sort of tell jokes in small packages, relying on the audience having some pretty good knowledge of what you're talking about. Here, ... the audience has a much larger wealth of knowledge."

    So in front of a highly politicized audience, will Meyers's jokes lean left or right? He lampoons both sides of the aisle in his satire, but as for Meyers's personal politics, he's thrown his weight behind Democrats in the past. He contributed to Obama's presidential campaign in 2008 and supported an unsuccessful House run by Tommy Sowers in Missouri last year.

    Not planning a partisan performance, the comedian does seem willing to tell some provocative jokes. "If there are a couple of minor burns, it won't be the end of the world," he said.

    "I certainly don't want to go overboard, but I think the fun is sort of tipping the boat over enough so that it looks like there might be a chance."

    Even if it means stinging the president once or twice, Meyers seems up to the challenge. "The fun of this is that there are so few things like it where it's, to some degree, a roast of the most powerful person in the world, which is such a risky proposition for a comedian. But it's also such a terrifically American undertaking that this night exists at all."

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart


    [4]May 9, 2011
    • member since: 06/03/05
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    I'm pretty sure we'll never have to worry about Trump hosting again. Of course, I also said that in April 2004.
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