President Biden Jokes About 'Guy Named Brandon' at White House Correspondents' Dinner: 'Happy for Him'

The event, hosted by Trevor Noah, was attended by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson as well as the president and First Lady Jill Biden

US President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with South African comedian Trevor Noah during the White House Correspondents Association gala at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, on April 30, 2022. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Celebrities, journalists, members of Congress and top Biden administration officials — including the president and first lady — packed the White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday night at the Washington Hilton Hotel in the nation's capital.

Daily Show host Trevor Noah headlined the first WHCD since the COVID-19 pandemic upended the annual event in 2020.

But President Joe Biden, accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden, took the stage to start the comedy routines, marking the return of a sitting president to the event for the first time since 2016.

"This is the first time a president has attended this dinner in six years," Biden told the crowd, before taking a swipe at his predecessor, Donald Trump. "It's understandable. We had a horrible plague, followed by two years of COVID."

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Biden, 79, also teased the members of the press in the audience. "I'm really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating that I have," he said.

The joke wasn't the only one about his poll numbers.

Turning to the first lady, he said, "Jilly, how are kid? I think she's doing an incredible job as first lady. She doesn't pay much attention to the polls. Though she did say the other day, instead of introducing myself as Jill Biden's husband, maybe to introduce myself as her roommate."

The president even acknowledged the phrase "Let's go Brandon," which some in the GOP use to insult him. "Republicans seem to support one fellow," he said. "Some guy named Brandon. He's having a really good year. And I'm kind of happy for him."

Before turning the mic over to Noah, Biden told the Daily Show host he liked the label he gave him after he won the presidency. "He called me 'America's new dad,'" Biden said. "Let me tell you something pal, I'm flattered anyone would call me a new anything. You're my guy."

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian attendthe 2022 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at Washington Hilton on April 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Paul Morigi/Getty

"It is my great honor to be speaking tonight at the nation's most distinguished super-spreader event," Noah, 38, said, joking about the gathering of nearly 3,000 in the ballroom, all of whom were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID test taken on Saturday.

"You might have noticed, I'm going to be telling some jokes tonight," Noah said, before taking aim at a number of political figures like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Kirsten Sinema and, of course, the president.

He thanked Biden for having him at the event and said, "I was a little confused about why me. But then I was told you get your highest approval ratings with a biracial African guy standing next to you." Then Noah launched into an impression of President Barack Obama.

Noah joked that Dr. Biden kept her teaching job as a professor because "she's still paying off her student debt."

"I guess you should have voted for Bernie," he quipped.

US President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with South African comedian Trevor Noah during the White House Correspondents Association gala at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, on April 30, 2022. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Noah jokingly wondered why people give President Biden a hard time when, since he's taken office, "Things are really looking up."

"Gas is up," Noah said. "Rent is up. Food is up. Everything."

The annual correspondent's dinner dates back to 1921 and has historically been attended by members of the White House Correspondents' Association as well as high-ranking government officials including the president and first lady.

Under former President Trump, however, that tradition changed.

During the first three years of his term, Trump snubbed the gathering, telling reporters in 2019 that it was "too negative."

"The dinner is so boring and so negative, that we're going to hold a very positive rally ... everybody wants it," Trump said at the time. "The Correspondents' Dinner is too negative, I like positive things."

Other notables in attendance included reality television star Kim Kardashian and Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson, multiple cabinet secretaries and others.

The annual event is put on every year by the WHCA.

"The White House Correspondents' Dinner celebrates Americans' freedoms and the working people who bring the news to the world," Steven Portnoy of CBS News Radio, president of the WHCA, said in a news release.

The WHCA added that the annual event is held in support of the White House press corps, scholarships for the next generation of aspiring journalists and awards that highlight significant work in journalism.

"Our annual dinner is our main source of revenue to finance all of our work, including support of the journalists working to cover the president, events and programs to educate the public about the value of the First Amendment and a free press, and scholarships to help the next generation of journalists," said the WHCA.

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