The clips I saw from the White House Correspondents Dinner when President Obama took the comedic podium hardly impressed.
I found self deprecating humor absent. Usually, that is the kind chosen by leaders like President Bush and others who have at least a modicum of humility. Not O. He fired at others. But that didn’t daunt his supporters. Politico interviewed some of them and – surprize! – they found the Commander in Chief the Comedian in Chief.
The caps, by the way, are Politico’s, not mine.
Ryan Kwanten, who plays Jason Stackhouse on “True Blood,” said Obama was funnier. “I’m a huge Conan fan, but President Obama was on top of his comedic timing tonight,” he told POLITICO.
Actress Rebel Wilson also picked Obama, adding that her favorite joke was “the one about him being a Muslim socialist.”
Activist Sandra Fluke told POLITICO she thought Obama was funnier than Conan.
Her favorite joke? “I liked the NPR peanuts joke.”
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell said both were funny but that the president had a slight edge.
“Because he’s the president, hearing him tell such funny jokes, be as loose as he was, really killed it,” Mitchell told POLITICO.
She added that the president’s jokes landed right on target.
“I thought it was one of the funniest evenings that I’ve been to. And I thought the president, his delivery, his material — he was just great.”
Actress Kathleen Turner said Obama stole the show: “Obama was a star. I just thought he killed it.”
“Revolution” and “Breaking Bad” star Giancarlo Esposito tweeted his support for the president’s sense of humor.
“A new day! A very relaxed OBAMA was FUNNIER Than CONAN by far !” he tweeted after the dinner.
There were some guests who saw the contest as more of a draw.
“They were both wonderful,” said “Homeland” actress Claire Danes.
“It was tough call this year,” said National Journal editorial director Ron Brownstein. “I would give it a draw. Conan started weaker but finished strong. He was also an equal offender, criticizing politicians and the media.”
“Friends” and “Go On” star Matthew Perry said they both did great but Obama did “the best stand-up routine that I’ve ever seen anybody do.”
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman also called it a draw.
“I thought they both did well. They both hit it out of the park,” Zimmerman said.