The annual media gala, formerly known as the Radio & TV Correspondents Dinner, has typically featured the president or vice president as the headliner. But this year four young members of Congress — Weiner, Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Ben Quayle and Rep. Cedric Richmond — were tapped instead to deliver comic riffs.
Following are comedic highlights and lowlights from the evening:
Anthony Weiner on learning to roll with jokes about his surname and why John Boehner should follow suit: "Who is Boehner fooling? What am I, Anthony Wainer? I'm serious, brother, just embrace it!""
Weiner on Rahm Emanuel: "Who knew that all it took to be a mayor of a big city is to be a hot-tempered, arrogant, loud Jew with nine-and-a-half fingers? In other news, I've taken a job at Arby's as the meat cutter."
Weiner on whether Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was at the dinner: "She's probably not — she's campaigning Iowa and organizing in that important caucus state because she's running for president. That's really all I have for that joke." (Watch video of Weiner's comedy routine, as well as his best zingers)
Rand Paul (R-KY) on Newt Gingrich: "I was happy to see that Newt Gingrich has staked out a position on the war; a position or two, or maybe three,. I don't know. He may have more war positions than he's had wives."
Paul on Fox News's coverage of Obama and Libya: There's a big debate over there. Fox News can't decide, what do they love more, bombing the Middle East or bashing the president? It's like I was over there and there was an anchor going, they were pleading, can't we do both? Can't we bomb the Middle East and bash the president at the same time? How are we going to make this work?" (Watch video of Paul's failed attempt at stand-up comedy)
Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) on NPR: "NPR, it's good to see you here. Next year you might very well not be here" (referring to a recent House vote to defund to National Public Radio).
Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ) on one of his father's infamous gaffes: "So he misspelled 'potato.' In the words of another vice president, 'big effing deal.'"
Quayle picking a fight with Politico: "Although I come from a newspaper family, we seem to have a strained relationship with the press. 'Strained' is a polite term for 'troubled.' And 'the press' is a generous term for 'Politico.' You know, it took everything I had not to refer to Politico as the worst media outlet in history. It's not that I don't believe that assertion, but I don't want to get into hyperbole."(Watch video of Quayle's disastrous comedy act)
It wasn't all amateur hour. There was also a professional comedian in the house. Larry Wilmore, The Daily Show's "senior black correspondent," entertained the crowd with jabs at Obama and the media:
Wilmore on Obama: "Let me clear things up. I voted for Obama because he's black. I don't have disappointment issues. As long as he keeps being black." Wilmore added that he would demand more from the second black president.
Wilmore on why Obama was a no-show: "Maybe he thought that by coming to the Congressional Correspondents' dinner, it would seem like he consults with Congress, I don't know." (Watch video of Wilmore's comedy routine)
You can watch the whole thing at C-SPAN.
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