What happens when politics and Hollywood collide? Some epically good jokes.
At Saturday evening's White House Correspondents' Dinner, hosted by Joel McHale, politicians, stars and athletes rubbed elbows over steak dinners at the Hilton Hotel, as fans — in person and on Twitter — oohed and ah-ed over Michelle Obama's Grecian-inspired Marchesa gown.
While Scandal star Kerry Washington was notably absent (the actress recently gave birth to her first child), actors responsible for bringing politics to the screen filled the guest list.
"I'm addicted to House of Cards," Katie Couric told reporters on the red carpet, as House of Cards' Robin Wright and Scandal's Scott Foley, Katie Lowes and Bellamy Young passed by.
"I'm not going to spoil the shocking twist on House of Cards, but just know that it was so surprising that Nancy Pelosi's face almost changed expression," McHale deadpanned from the stage.
Scandal president Tony Goldwyn even jokingly told USA TODAY if he got a great chance to meet the real president, they'd have a "secret handshake" that only real/fake presidents know.
To kick off festivities inside the dinner, a short video ran that had Julia Louis-Dreyfus being picked up in a yellow Ferrari by Joe Biden (while coloring a picture Chuck Todd's face in with a black marker). In character as Selena Meyer, she called the annual event the "Snore-es-pondents' Dinner."
"Yellow? Seriously?" the Veep star asked the real veep as he roared to her door. Then the two were off to raiding the executive wing's kitchen, where Michelle Obama walked in on them stealing ice cream.
"What are you doing?" quizzed the first lady. "What's in your mouth?"
"Carrots," mumbled Louis-Dreyfus.
But the real fun started once the president reached the podium.
"I admit it, last year was rough," said Obama. "Sheesh. At one point, 47% called Mitt Romney to apologize."
"In 2008 my slogan was 'Yes, we can!' " he continued. "In 2013, my slogan was: Control, alt, delete," he joked, skewering his administration's launch of Obamacare. Then, Obama flashed a photo of Frozen, noting Hollywood even "turned one of my biggest accomplishments into a feature film."
"Let's face the facts, you'll miss me when I'm gone," Obama directed to the Fox News table. "It will be harder for you to convince Americans that Hillary was born in Kenya."
USA TODAY guests Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba even got a shout-out during the president's monologue. "These days the House Republican actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me! Which means orange really is the new black," he riffed.
When McHale took over duties, he aimed straight at Obamacare's launch.
"It was so bad!" he said from the stage. "I don't even have an analogy, because the website is now an analogy that people use to describe other bad things. 'Boy that latest Johnny Depp movie really healthcare.gov'd at the box office.' "
A few of McHale's other best lines:
• On Chris Christie: "I promise that tonight will be amusing and over quickly. Just like Chris Christie's presidential bid."
• On Rob Ford: "Between Rob Ford, Justin Bieber and Ted Cruz, you just want to tell Canada, 'Hey, hey, relax. We already have a Florida.' "
• On Hillary running for office: Hillary Clinton has a lot going for her as a candidate. She has experience, she's a natural leader. And as our first female president, we could pay her 30% less! That's a saving this country could use. Who's with me??"
• On Chelsea Clinton's pregnancy: "In nine months we will officially have a sequel to Bad Grandpa."
The room was packed with celebs, who alternately laughed and groaned at the barbs. USA TODAY guests included Jessica Simpson and Jeff Goldblum. Others present included Patrick Stewart, Matthew Morrison, Anna Chlumsky, Lindsey Vonn (sans Tiger Woods), Katharine McPhee, Jeremy Irvine, Lupita Nyong'o, Julianna Margulies, Sofia Vergara, Brad Paisley, Kevin Hart, Cynthia Nixon, Tim Tebow, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, J.C. Chasez, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Olivia Munn, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fred Armisen, Richard Sherman and Harvey Weinstein.
Guest Mindy Kaling even had some wise words for all the kids tuning in. "Don't take naked photos," she advised.
Contributing: Ann Oldenburg, Alison Maxwell, Carly Mallenbaum, Cindy Clark, Haley Blum