Colin Jost’s 13 Best Jokes From the White House Correspondents Dinner

Watch the full set, which ran the gamut from Trump to Biden to AI in news media

The White House Correspondents Dinner kicked off on Saturday night, with “Saturday Night Live” writer and cast member Colin Jost took the stage as host of the evening’s proceedings. As is customary, Jost opened the evening with a comedy set, tackling everything from Trump’s trial to Biden’s age to the state of print media.

The set (which you can watch in full in the video above) was received somewhat unevenly in the room, especially when Jost took aim at the journalism industry, but before we get to his best zingers, Jost ended strong as the “SNL” Weekend Update anchor took a beat to get earnest with a story about his late grandfather.

“He helped raise me growing up and I would not be here today without him,” Jost said, adding that he was a Staten Island firefighter for 40 years and reminded him a lot of president Biden.

“Some of your best qualities remind me of him. He was 95 and he was still great at stairs,” Jost said to laughter. “I think it’s because he didn’t try to run up them.”

Jost noted that Staten Island firefighters are not exactly in the Joe Biden demographic (“Staten Island voted about 70% for Trump in the last election and the other 30% was for Giuliani,” he quipped).

“He voted for you. And the reason that he voted for you is because you’re a decent man,” Jost said. “My grandpa voted for decency and decency is why we’re all here tonight. Decency is how we’re able to be here tonight.”

He continued, “When you look at the levels of freedom throughout history, and even around the world today, this is the exception. This freedom is incredibly rare. And the journalists in this room help protect that freedom, and we cannot ever take that for granted.”

Now, on to the jokes, which kicked off with a nod to Jost’s wife Scarlett Johansson’s “SNL” appearance as Katie Britt.

  • “Good evening everyone, I’m Colin Jost and I’ll be delivering the Republican response.”
  • “I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have a lot of time. I need to get back to New York because I’m juror number five on a big trial. Trump’s lawyer took one look at me and he’s like, ‘He’s gotta be on our side.’”
  • “Doug, as you can tell from all the comments about my wife, I’m also used to being the second gentleman.”
  • “I would like to point out it’s after 10 p.m. and Sleepy Joe is still awake while Donald Trump has spent the last week falling asleep in court, though Fox News said he was just being anti-woke.”
  • “We’re all here at nerd prom. Well, Matt Gaetz is at regular prom.”
  • “My Weekend Update coanchor Michael Che was going to join me tonight, but in solidarity with President Biden, I decided to lose all my Black support. Che told me to say that and I’m just now realizing I was set up.”
  • “Wordle is here tonight. Sorry, sorry I meant the New York Times. I forgot they do stuff in addition to puzzles. I have to say it’s not a great sign when the only thing keeping a print media company alive are games people play on their phones.”
  • “The last time I was in D.C. I left my cocaine at the White House. Luckily the president was able to put it to good use at the State of the Union.”
  • “Isn’t it crazy that he’s only our second Catholic president? And what’s even crazier is in that just a few short months, we’ll have our third in RFK Jr. I’m kidding, like his vaccine card says, he doesn’t have a shot.”
  • “By the way, now that O.J. is dead, who is the new frontrunner for Trump’s VP? Is it Diddy? If Trump did select Diddy as his running mate, I bet this race would still be tied.”
  • “This may be the worst time in history to be a print journalist, but it’s the best time in history to be a courtroom sketch artist. My God, the most famous man on Earth is on trial and there are no cameras allowed, just the artists and their desire to make Trump look as bad as possible. Every sketch of Trump looks like the Grinch had sex with the Lorax.”
  • “I would really like to take a moment to recognize all the print journalists in this room. Your words speak truth to power. Your words bring light to the darkness. And most importantly, your words train the AI programs that will soon replace you.”
  • “I wanted to thank my family and I wanted to thank my friends for being here tonight to support me. I want to thank my wife for enduring lots of jokes, and for agreeing to individually meet everyone in this room right after the ceremony.”

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