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Best lines from the White House correspondents' dinner

Meredith Bland is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on, Brain, Mother, The Rumpus, Scary Mommy and Narratively, among others.

Our favorite lines from the 2016 correspondents' dinner

I love the annual White House correspondents' dinner. It's that one time a year when the president is allowed to relax a little, let his hair down, and make some fantastically pointed jokes about himself and the other party. Our president finally gets to say, "You know what? Fuck you, too." And we all smile and laugh. It's an excellent event.

This year promised to be a winner. It's Obama's last correspondents' dinner, and comedian Larry Wilmore presented the featured remarks.

More: 54 celebs, movers and shakers attending the 2016 White House correspondents' dinner

These are some of our favorite lines and moments from Obama's and Wilmore's speeches.

Obama's opening

After coming to the podium to the song "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone," Obama looked at the crowd and said, "You can't say it, but you know it's true."

Obama got jokes

When talking about what he was going to do after he left the White House, Obama said he might go to Goldman Sachs and "earn me some serious Tubmans."

"Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be."

"Last year, I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. Clearly, I should have been more specific."

"My approval ratings are going up. The last time I was this high, I was deciding on my major."

Obama on Bernie

"Bernie, you look like a million bucks — or, to put it in terms you'll understand, 37,000 donations of $27 each."

"I'm hurt that you've been distancing yourself from me, Bernie. That's just not something you do to your comrade."

Obama on Hillary

"Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is like your older relative who just signed up for Facebook. 'Hello, America. Did you get my poke? Did it show up on your wall? I'm not sure I'm using this right. Love, your Aunt Hillary.'"

More: 3 things I've learned about politics as a woman running for office

Obama on the Republicans

He compared the Republicans' choices for their nominee to choosing between fish or steak at a dinner: "You might not like fish or steak, but that's your choice."

"I'm surprised [Trump's] not here tonight. We had so much fun the last time."

Trump would be the perfect guy to close Guantanamo because "he knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground."

Obama's closing

He said, "Obama out." And then he dropped the mic. Literally. He picked up a microphone and dropped it.


Then came Larry Wilmore, who faced a tough crowd. They were not into him, but I think a lot of us who weren't in that room enjoyed him.

On next year's dinner

It'll be called "Donald Trump presents a luxurious evening paid for by Mexico."

On Obama's hair

"Your hair is so white, it tried to punch me at a Trump rally."

"Your hair is so white, it keeps saying all lives matter."

Wilmore credited Obama with busting a couple of black stereotypes: "Black does crack, and once you go black, it looks like we are going back. Thanks, Ben Carson."

On poor, poor C-SPAN

"C-SPAN is the No. 1 network among people who died watching TV and haven't been found yet. I'm glad I'm not on their rival network, 'No Input HDMI 1.'"

Fun live TV

We got to see Don Lemon flip Wilmore the bird after Wilmore referred to him as "alleged journalist Don Lemon."

On Ben Carson

"Ben Carson said Andrew Jackson was a tremendous president. From the grave, Jackson said, 'What did that jigaboo say?'"

On Bernie Sanders

"Bernie's been hanging around with rapper Killer Mike — or, as Hillary calls him, Super Predator Mike."

"Bernie Sanders is so old, his first campaign slogan was 'Fire.'" (This was my very favorite joke of the entire night.)

On Trump and Cruz

"Trump looks like the dad in every episode of Law and Order where the frat boy strangles a hooker."

About Ted Cruz: "Even O.J. Simpson said, 'That guy's just hard to like.'"

More: Hillary Clinton's "woman card" versus Donald Trump's "man card" — It's on!

Wilmore then started a string of jokes about the internet rumor that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. "Heidi Cruz said that when she and Ted first got married, he bought them a hundred cans of soup. Not looking less like the Zodiac Killer. I don't even think he wants to be president — I think he's just going across the country zodiac killing." (This was also my favorite joke of the night.)

Wilmore's closing

After some heartfelt words to Obama about how much his presidency has meant to Wilmore, he ended with, "Yo, Barry. You did it, my n***a."

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