Jay Leno Tapped to Roast Journalists, Obama
By PopEater Staff Posted Jan 22nd 2010 10:38AM
Leno agreed earlier this month to be keynote speaker at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, the group said. At the time, he was still just the host of 'The Jay Leno Show.' Now, he's heading back to 'The Tonight Show' after a spectacular debacle/shakeup at NBC that involved Conan O'Brien's removal.
He'll share the stage with another guy having ratings problems: President Barack Obama. This will be Leno's fourth time hosing the party, having done so in 1987, 2000 and 2004.
The event is usually a hoot, with the president getting a chance to roast the people who cover his administration. But the keynote speakers are the ones who get all the attention. Last year, Wanda Sykes ruffled some feathers when she said Rush Limbaugh was supposed to be "the 20th highjacker" in the 9/11 attacks, "but he was so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight."
Obama's press secretary issued a rebuke to Sykes a day later.
The most ballsy speech happened in 2006 when Stephen Colbert delivered a colossal smackdown to President George W. Bush, as he sat stone-face next to him. As the ribbing got worse and worse, it became clear organizers were unaware that Colbert isn't actually a conservative, like his TV character. One of his best zingers:
This year's event will be held at the Washington Hilton on May 1. Catch it on C-SPAN."I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers, and rubble, and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message: that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world."
"Over the last five years, you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out... And then you write, Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!"
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