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Obama lampoons Biden, teleprompters and staff at big dinner

By Jimmy Orr / May 10, 2009

President Obama became the Comedian-in-Chief last night at the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner. The president had great fun at a variety of targets but some say his best lines were those directed at himself and his staff.

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I'm here all week, try the veal...

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It's not the first time President Obama has tried his hand at stand-up comedy. Whenever his teleprompter breaks, for example, he gets tons of laughs.

But last night's performance at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, the jokes were intentional. And they were funny. He was funny.

Staff

Despite scorn from people who say "now is not the time to make jokes," President Obama made jokes and scored big laughs from lampooning himself and his staff. Although he would veer off and take a few shots at the right, you could say his best material was when it was more self-directed.

Like on the ever-present chatter on his use of a teleprompter.

"I had an entire speech prepared," he began. "But now that I'm here, I want to try something different. Tonight, I want to speak from the heart. Speak off the cuff..."

Perfectly timed, two extremely loud teleprompters rose up from the stage. Then he nailed it with a predictable but very funny line.

"Good evening. Pause for laughter," he said (to laughter).

Undoubtedly there will be those who believe he said "pause for laughter" by mistake. But there's precedent for that. Some opponents swear that he accidentally introduced himself when his teleprompter actually did blow up a couple months ago.

Regardless, it was funny (both incidents were).

Grounded

Staying close to home -- and close to recent news events -- the president announced that his daughters were absent from the night's festivities.

"Sasha and Malia aren't here tonight because they're grounded," he said. "You can't just take Air Force One on a joyride to Manhattan. I don't care whose kids you are."

@*&%#!!!

You knew Rahm Emmanuel's reputation for colorful language would likely be brought up.

"Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out in the audience," the president announced. "This is a tough holiday for Rahm Emmanuel, because he's not used to saying the word "day" after mother."

Zzzzzzz...

And how about his economic adviser's penchant for falling asleep at the wrong time. Like when he dozed off at the beginning of one of the president's meetings a couple weeks ago...

"I do appreciate Larry Summers being here tonight," he said. "Because it is seven hours past his bedtime."

Joe

You can't go wrong with a Joe Biden joke. Even if everybody knew where he was going with it (and everyone did).

"All this change hasn't been easy," Obama said, reflecting on his early days in the White House. "Change never is. So I've cut the tension by brining a new friend to the White House. He's warm, cuddly, loyal, enthusiastic, and you have to keep him on a tight leash because every now and then he goes charging off in the wrong direction and gets himself in trouble."

Pause....

"Enough about Joe Biden," he deadpanned.

Next 100

But it wasn't enough about Biden. Obama found time to bring him up again.

"During the second hundred days, I will learn to go off the teleprompter and Joe Biden will learn to stay on the teleprompter."

Orange

Everyone can debate what his best line of the night was. What turned our crank was the shot taken at the perpetually orange tan House Minority Leader John Boehner.

"We have a lot in common," Obama explained. "He is a person of color. Although not a color that appears in the natural world."

"What's up, John?'' Obama called out, looking for the Ohio Orangeman.

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