Last night I was at the Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, DC. The event is held at the Washington Hilton, a.k.a. the hotel where President Reagan was shot.
The dinner is an annual event that draws 2,500 members of the media and numerous heavyweights from Hollywood and pro sports. They all wine, dine and rub elbows while the President of the United States uses humor to rip apart the big news agencies.
My adventure started hours before the event. I boarded the Amtrak from NYC to DC and to my surprise, sitting next to me was Megyn Kelly and her husband. We spoke about the times when I used to appear on her show. “You used to get such great footage”, said Megyn.
Sitting behind us was actor Ed Burns. Although I haven’t seen him in years, I met Ed back in 2009 at a party held by a mutual friend. It was Ed who suggested I get into the DVD business after theaters rejected playing ‘They Come to America’ because it was too conservative. “Eddie your DVD idea landed me on Fox News for years. You ever meet Megyn Kelly?” I introduced him to Megyn.
Hours later I found myself in the hotel lobby enjoying a vodka tonic while watching the press take pictures of themselves on the red carpet.
Mixed within the media personalities was film and television performers including Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Jared Leto, “Breaking Bad” actor Bryan Cranston, “Independence Day” stars Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, actress Rachel McAdams, and “Night Manager” miniseries star Tom Hiddleston. Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo was at the table next to mine, and I nearly spilled my drink on Madeline Albright when someone bumped into me from behind.
But the biggest celebrity of the night was President Obama — and that’s how he wants it — he loves being a celebrity in the spotlight.
President Obama took the stage and poked fun at Trump, Cruz, Hillary, and Bernie Sanders who was in attendance. But the person who Obama ripped on the hardest was himself. He played a video of him and John Boehner sitting in an empty movie theater as the former Speaker of the House explained the upside of no longer being in DC.
I’ll admit President Obama was funny at times — especially when ranking on Hillary’s age. Even so, I didn’t laugh — my dislike of him and his policies are so great it prevents me from laughing.
When Obama was finished, comedian Larry Wilmore took the podium. He began by saying, “It’s not easy to follow the president.”
Then he proved his point, offering a series of jokes about the president, different media organizations and various presidential candidates that often were racially tinged and drew more groans than chuckles. I found him to be a disgusting individual who raked the bottom of the barrel to find jokes that offered no humor. His opening said it all, “Welcome to ‘Negro Night’ here at Washington … or as Fox News will report, ‘Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.”
When he was finished telling bad jokes, he turned serious and thanked President Obama for a job well done as Commander in Chief. “When I was a kid they didn’t trust a black man to be the quarterback of a football team, but today a black man is the leader of the free world,” said Wilmore.
Then Wilmore concluded with a line that left me shocked. He said he wanted to end his routine 100% straight up. He yelled, “Yo Barry, way to go my N*gger.” Nobody laughed.
Overall, it was a Saturday night I wish I could have back. I would have spent it at home with my wife and kids. But then again, I’ve never been a black tie affair sort of guy. I hate small talk, and if I’m going to eat out I prefer an 18-ounce steak cooked medium rare versus a piece of overcooked meat consumed in one bite.
I think the best way to describe how unimpressed I am with the entire “celebrity thing” is by asking you to look at the picture of yours truly with the Latino lady.
Will Smith, Tony Romo, Rachel McAdams…. I could have taken a picture with them. But of all the people in the crowd, the one person I was most interested in meeting was Sarah R. Saldana. She is the Directer of I.C.E.
I was a gentleman — I did not say what I wanted to say — not only was it not the right place or time, but in the end I believe it is Obama who forces these people into conducting acts of stupidity. But I couldn’t help myself completely — I had to give my two cents, “Allowing 20,000 criminal illegals back onto the streets of America is a really bad idea — don’t you agree?” I said that after we took the selfie, of course. I didn’t get an answer.
And then of course there is the fist fight between Jesse Watters from Fox News an writer from the liberal leaning Huffington Post. Click here for photos.
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