Last Saturday, President Obama attended his eighth and final White House Correspondents Dinner as president. Below are my favorite Obama zingers from the night:
I do apologize – I know I was a little late tonight. I was running on C.P.T. – (laughter) – which stands for “jokes that white people should not make.” (Laughter and applause.)
My eighth and final appearance at this unique event. (Laughter.) And I am excited. If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. (Laughter and applause.) Earn me some serious Tubmans.
Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be.
But the prospect of leaving the White House is a mixed bag. You might have heard that someone jumped the White House fence last week, but I have to give Secret Service credit – they found Michelle, brought her back, she’s safe back at home now.
I love Joe Biden, I really do. And I want to thank him for his friendship, for his counsel, for always giving it to me straight, for not shooting anybody in the face. (Laughter.)
We’ve got the bright new face of the Democratic Party here tonight — Mr. Bernie Sanders! (Applause.) There he is – Bernie! (Applause.) Bernie, you look like a million bucks. (Laughter.) Or to put it in terms you’ll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of 27 dollars each.
And then there’s Ted Cruz. Ted had a tough week. He went to Indiana — Hoosier country — stood on a basketball court, and called the hoop a “basketball ring.” (Laughter and applause.) What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? (Laughter.) But sure, I’m the foreign one. (Laughter and applause.)
The Republican establishment is incredulous that he is their most likely nominee – incredulous, shocking. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But, in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan. (Laughter and applause.)
Comedian Larry Wilmore gave a mixed performance at the White House Correspondent Dinner and was justifiably criticized for closing his stand-up routine with, “So, Mr. President, if I’m going to keep it 100: Yo, Barry, you did it, my n—ger. You did it.”
The n-word is one of the most obnoxious words in the English language and should never be used – period. And it definitely should not be used when addressing the nation’s first Black president in public or in private.
Many of Wilmore’s jokes simply were not funny. But he did manage to land quite a few on target:
Well, welcome to “Negro Night” here at the Washington Hilton, or as Fox News will report, “Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.”
And not to throw any shade, but Fox News is the highest-rated cable news channel among viewers who have no idea what “shade” means.
I think Fox News secretly likes Beyoncé, though. They just renamed “The Kelly File,” “Becky with the good hair.”
MSNBC – MSNBC here tonight? No? Which actually now stands for “Missing a Significant Number of Black Correspondents.” Am I wrong? They like fired Melissa Harris-Perry, they canceled Joy Reid, they booted Touré. I heard they put Chris Hayes on probation because they thought he was related to Isaac Hayes. That’s wrong.
You know, I should say some of America’s finest Black journalists are here tonight. Don Lemon’s here, too.
But to say a little bit about me, so, I am a Black man who replaced a White man who pretended to be a TV newscaster. So, yeah, in that way Lester Holt and I have a lot in common.
President’s hair is so white it keeps saying “all lives matter.”
All I’m saying is that in less than eight years, Mr. President, you’ve busted two time-honored stereotypes. Black does crack, and apparently once you go black, it looks like we are going back. Thanks, Ben Carson.
Lots of big news this year, the Treasury promised to put Harriet Tubman’s face on the $10 bill, but now we have to wait until 2030 for the $20 bill. Yeah. Man, women haven’t been this deceived by a bill since Cosby [groans].
Donald Trump said that if Hillary Clinton were a man, he didn’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. Okay, alright, alright. First of all, if Hillary Clinton were suddenly a man, her biggest problem would be finding a bathroom she’d be allowed to use in North Carolina.
And I can’t understand why everyone treats Donald Trump with kid gloves. And then I realized they’re the only gloves that’ll fit his stupid, little baby hands.
And this is your last year in office, right, so now your legacy begins. So I wanna talk about what you’re leaving behind, and I don’t mean the Black Jesus in the Lincoln bedroom…No, I’m just saying, make sure you take all of your culturally specific items with you so you can get your security deposit back, Mr. President.
George E. Curry is President and CEO of George Curry Media, LLC. He is the former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA). He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at twitter.com/currygeorge, George E. Curry Fan Page on Facebook, and Periscope. See previous columns at http://www.georgecurry.com/columns.
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