Comedian James Corden kicks off White House Correspondents’ Dinner with opening sketch
Comedian James Corden opened the 2022 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner with a sketch of him taking over the duties of Press Secretary Jen Psaki, which included a cameo from a reporter she regularly clashes with, Fox News’ Peter Doocy.
The Late Late Show host eagerly took to the podium to take questions from reporters following a briefing with Psaki and President Joe Biden, but the ill-prepared Corden was immediately flanked with complicated questions from reporters.
Among them was Doocy, who Biden was recorded calling a ‘stupid son of ab****’ in January, with Psaki echoing similar remarks earlier this month.
Despite the critical comments from them, Doocy played his part in Corden’s sketch on Saturday, appearing straight-forward and no-nonsense as he took on the fumbling comedian.
Doocy asks the ‘interim-press secretary’, ‘When the president says one thing, and White House staff say something else, who are we supposed to listen to? The president, or White House staff?’
‘Well you know what, David,’ Corden says, appearing fed up by the questions from all the reporters.
‘That’s not my name,’ Doocy quickly replies.
Comedian James Corden (right) opened the 2022 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner with a sketch of him taking over the duties of Press Secretary Jen Psaki (left)
The humorous skit involved a back-and-forth with the no-nonsense Peter Doocy (second from the right) who was called a ”stupid son of ab****’ by Biden, with Psaki echoing similar remarks
Corden also poked fun at the proceedings with a journalist and included jabs at the Biden administration with the comedian expressing frustration at the CDC and US economy
‘You say your name is not David. I say your name is David,’ Corden snaps back.
‘And I’m stood up here and you’re sat down there – unless you wanna be sat at the back with whoever they are’ Corden added as he threatened to move Doocy to the far-end of the press room.
Corden’s sketch also involved digs at the Biden administration as Psaki told him that the CDC is ‘good,’ to which he replies, ‘Really? ‘They’ve been pissing me off.’
Psaki also tells him that the economy is strong, with Corden again questioning the validity of the statement.
‘Is it,’ he asks doubtfully as Psaki moves on to the rest of the briefing.
Also at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, comedian Trevor Noah mocked the Biden administration for rising inflation rates and took jabs at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ possible presidential candidacy after the state banned dozens of math books earlier this month.
The Daily Show Host touted Biden for coming out to the event on Saturday, saying he doesn’t know why the president would miss a chance to hear all about his supposed accomplishments.
‘You know, I think ever since you’ve come into office, things are really looking up. Gas is up. Rent is up. Food is up. Everything,’ Noah joked about inflation, which is at the highest it’s been in 40 years.
Noah also took aim at Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, and used the former Republican president as a gateway to roast DeSantis.
‘[If] Trump was the original Terminator, DeSantis is like the T-1000,’ Noah said of the Florida governor. ‘You’re smarter than him, you’re slicker than him, you can walk down ramps.
‘Because you see, Trump said he won the election, but everyone was just able to look at the numbers and see he was wrong.
‘That’s why Ron DeSantis is one step ahead,’ Noah said, referencing the fact that Florida tossed out 41 percent of the 132 math textbooks submitted for the next school year, more than half of which the state said referenced Critical Race Theory (CRT) , with the rest containing Common Core and Social Emotional Learning (SEL).
‘First you ban the math textbooks, then nobody knows how to count the votes,’ Noah quipped. ‘Boom, my man!’
Saturday night’s event – attended by reality TV star Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend, Pete Davidson, and other big stars including Drew Barrymore, Martha Stewart, Chris Tucker and Academy Award-winning actor Michael Keaton – also saw President Biden poke fun at his own low approval rating and call the Trump administration a ‘horrible plague’ as he cracked jokes and roasted the press.
‘Tonight, we come here to answer a very important question in everybody’s mind. Why in hell are we still doing this?’ Biden quipped as he took the stage in the room full of journalists and DC insiders.
‘I know there are questions about whether we should gather here tonight because of COVID. Well, we’re here to show the country that we’re getting through this pandemic. Plus, everyone had to prove they’re fully vaccinated and boosted,’ he said. ‘Just contact your favorite Fox News reporter they’re all here vaccinated and boosted.’
He then addressed his historically low poll numbers for the first time, claiming that journalists were the only people who were less well-liked.
‘I’m really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans having a lower approval rating than I have,’ Biden said.
During a live taping of the Pod Save America podcast, Psaki (right) suggested Doocy received his questions from Fox News and that ‘with questions that, nothing personal to any individual including Peter Doocy, but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of ab ***h’
Psaki later backtracked and she was grateful for Doocy’s grace after the insults he suffered
The moment involving Corden and Doocy served as light-hearted humor in what has been an otherwise tense situation between Psaki and Doocy in the past weeks.
Psaki was in a live taping of the Pod Save America podcast on April 14 when she was recorded criticizing Doocy and Fox News, saying: ‘He works for a network that provides people with questions that, nothing personal to any individual including Peter Doocy, but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of ab***h.’
The Press Secretary has since stressed that she was not deliberately attempting to insult the Fox News White House correspondent, but instead criticizing the news outlet.
Following the insult, Psaki tweeted: ‘Full video shows I also told a story about Peter’s grace last night and made very clear I was not being critical of him or any reporter at Fox, and instead was critical of the slant of some Fox topics.
‘He is doing his job. I am doing mine. We discuss. We disagree. I respect that.’
President Joe Biden earlier this year was caught on a hot mic calling Doocy a ‘stupid son of ab***h’ after the reporter asked Biden if inflation was a political liability for him.
Psaki has said Biden called Doocy afterwards to apologize.
Despite the insults from the president and press secretary, Doocy has remained composed and said he would just like to move forward after he accepted Bidens’ apology.
Speaking to Fox News’ host Sean Hannity following the incident, Doocy noted that he didn’t hear Biden’s insult at first.
‘My reaction was delayed because as you can see the Biden staff were ushering us out.
‘They were telling us thank you, time to go. It wasn’t until we went to the basement and then outside and then back to the press room that somebody said ‘Hey, did you hear with the president said about you?’
‘I said, ‘No, what did he say?’ ‘He called you a stupid SOB,” Doocy recalled.
‘And I said ‘I did not hear that,’ and I opened up my phone and… he did!’
Despite Biden and Psaki’s comments, Doocy said he wanted to move forward and played a prominent bit in Corden’s opening sketch on Saturday
Corden’s sketch began with a quick meeting with President Joe Biden (right)
Doocy said his cell phone rang with the president on the other line an hour later.
‘After years of clips of the president and I kind of mixing it up on the campaign trail and during the transition here at the White House, within about an hour of that exchange, he called my cell phone and he just said ‘It is nothing staff, pal.’
‘And we went back and forth and we were talking about moving forward and I made sure to tell him that I’m always going to try to ask something different than what everybody else is asking.
‘And he said, ‘You’ve got to.’ And that is the quote from the president, so I will keep doing it,’ he told Hannity.
Hannity asked Doocy if the president apologized.
‘I have cleared the air. And I appreciate it. We had a nice call,’ Doocy replied.
Sean Hannity, right, Peter Doocy if President Biden asked him after calling him a ‘Son of ab***h,’ Doocy said he had and that he bared no ill-will towards Biden
Fox News Channel’s John Roberts, a former White House correspondent, criticized Psaki for the comments she made about his colleague and Fox News
Fox has defended their White House correspondent, and denied suggestions that he was told what to ask.
‘In his role as White House correspondent, Peter Doocy’s job is to elicit truth from power for the American public,’ a spokesperson said.
‘His questions are his own, he is a terrific reporter and we are extremely proud of his work.’
Fox News Channel’s John Roberts, a former White House correspondent, criticized Psaki on Twitter saying: ‘Note to Press Sec: Peter Doocy makes the decisions on what topics he wants to quiz you on, and develops the questions himself. His philosophy of him is a basic tenet of journalism. He comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.’
‘If that makes all of us ‘stupid sobs’, so be it,’ Roberts added.