President Obama played Comedian in Chief on Saturday night, taunting Republicans, the media and members of his own Administration in an appearance at the annual Gridiron Club dinner here.
In an evening of speeches and far-off-Broadway musical numbers and costumes — sample: a Jeb Bush impersonator singing, “Hello Fadduh, hello Muddah. Can’t the voters forget my bruddah?” — Obama brought down the room several times. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker also spoke, representing Republicans, as did Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, representing Democrats.
Here, in one attendee’s assessment, are the six best jokes in the night’s speeches:
1. “If I did not love America, I wouldn’t have moved here from Kenya.” — Obama, on Rudy Giuliani’s claim that he doesn’t “love America”
2. “That’s gravity for you, or as Scott Walker calls it, ‘the theory of gravity.'” — McAuliffe on his own recent fall from a horse, referencing Walker’s refusal to say if he believed in evolution
3. “Just a few years ago … I was the young tech-savvy candidate of the future. Now I’m yesterday’s news, and Hillary’s got a server in her house. I didn’t even know you could have one of those. I am so far behind.” — Obama on the Hillary Clinton email controversy
4. “Pretty soon, the only person reporting to Valerie Jarrett will be President Obama.” — Walker on the number of staffers leaving the White House
5. “Bill O’Reilly tried to be here, but he was pinned down by enemy fire.” — McAuliffe, adding that O’Reilly’s ride to the event was supposed to be Brian Williams
6. “I want to acknowledge the leader of the House Republicans, as soon as I figure out who that is.” — Obama on Speaker John Boehner’s recent challenges
The dinner was Obama’s second appearance on the comedy circuit this week, following a stop on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live in which the President read aloud the mean comments people have made about him on Twitter.
The 650-person dinner with Washington officials, journalists and others was the 130th anniversary of the event. For those attendees not dressed as animals or in Kim Jong Un costumes for the skits, it’s a white-tie affair. Every President since Grover Cleveland has attended. The Gridiron Club’s members are 65 journalists who cover the capital. Four new active members were inducted Saturday night, including TIME’s Washington bureau chief, Michael Scherer.