President Joe Biden dusted off his funny bone and proved he’s still got a keen sense of humor during his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. During the star-studded event on Saturday (April 30), the 79-year-old politician poked fun at himself regarding the phrase “Let’s go, Brandon,” which has emerged in some GOP circles as a code for a profane expression used against him.
“Republicans seem to support one fellow, some guy named Brandon,” Biden said as the audience cracked up. “He’s having a really good year. I’m kind of happy for him.” The phrase became popular with Republicans after an announcer at a NASCAR race in October mistakenly believed the crowd was cheering “Let’s go, Brandon” when, in actually, they were yelling “F**k Joe Biden.”
Of course, Biden had to be the brunt of several jokes throughout the night, as the WH Correspondents’ Dinner is known to be an irreverent roast of the current President by members of the media. His appearance made him the first sitting president to attend the gala since former President Barack Obama’s final dinner in 2016. Biden’s predecessor, former President and reality star Donald Trump, who had a bitter relationship with some of the press, refused to be a part of the first three during his administration. The last one during his presidency was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid concerns.
Producers of the Dinner were hoping to bring back the glitz to the event, as guests included Kim Kardashian, Pete Davidson, Drew Barrymore, Michael Keaton and more of Hollywood’s glitterati. There were even pre-taped skits provided by Late Late Show host James Corden and Billy on the Street star Billy Eichner. Dubbed the “Nerd Prom” in some circles, the gala will also feature an after-party hosted by Paramount and two brunches hosted by Politico and CNN on the following day.
The team behind the fabulous fete also brought in veteran Hollywood producer Bob Bain just 10 weeks before showtime in an attempt to ensure its success, according to Variety. Bain had recently produced the Critics Choice Awards and the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. “We are hoping he can elevate this event to a level we haven’t had it at before,” Steven Portnoy, the current president of the White House Correspondents Association, told the outlet.
“It is the nerd prom,” Bain said in a statement to the news source. “But what you’ve heard after the fact a lot of the time is ‘This was the most boring dinner I’ve ever been to.’ We’re trying to eliminate that comment.” He added, “We’re just trying to give this a little more of a contemporary and — pardon the word, ‘hip’ — but just a hipper feel without going overboard.”
It sounds like the organizers wouldn’t mind if the Dinner became an annual red carpet event where the public is tuning in to see who shows up and what ends up going down, akin to the Oscars or Grammys. “If everything goes well and people decide that maybe this should be a network special at some point, that would be my dream come true,” Bain admitted.