“Last week Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe,” Obama said. “That was a slap in the face.”Obama pretended to be wrapping up his remarks with no mention of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“Well let me conclude tonight on a more serious note. I want to thank the Washington press corps,” Obama said. “The free press is central to our democracy and … nah! I’m just kidding! You know I’m gonna talk about Trump! Come on!,” he said.
“And it is surprising: You’ve got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras — and he says no,” Obama continued.
“Is this dinner too tacky for The Donald? What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home, eating a Trump steak, tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel? What’s he doing?”
Obama joked about Trump’s foreign policy experience, saying, “There’s one area where Donald’s experience could be invaluable, and that’s closing Guantanamo. Because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground.”
Obama did not spare Hillary Clinton. He began by apologizing for a delay in a quip that turned on the former Secretary of State.
“I know I was a little late tonight,” Obama said in his opening remarks. “I was running on CPT — which stands for jokes that white people should not make.”
The joke referred to a recent gaffe made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Hillary Clinton who spoke about “C.P. time,” a racially insensitive term that stands for “colored people’s time.”
Obama also told the crowd in his opening: “If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans.” The new version of the $20 bill will feature escaped slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the front.Obama made a not-so-subtle prediction of his successor.
“Next year at this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be,” Obama said.
Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, was in the crowd. “Bernie, you look like a million bucks,” Obama said. “Or to put it in terms you understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each.”
Obama also had fun with his age and looked back at his time in office, reflecting on the message he brought to the White House when he was first elected. “Eight years ago I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific,” Obama said.
“Eight years ago I was a young man, full of idealism and vigor,” Obama said. “And look at me now: I am grey and grizzled, and just counting down the days ‘till my death panel.”
Obama ended his last White House Correspondents’ Dinner with a sincere thank you to the press corps.
“I just have two more words to say,” the president said. “Obama out.”
RELATED: President Obama: Comedian in Chief
Then he proved his point, offering a series of jokes about the president, different media organizations and various presidential candidates that often were racially tinged and drew a mixture of laughter and groans.
“Welcome to ‘Negro Night’ here at Washington … or as Fox News will report, ‘Two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in D.C.,’” Wilmore said in his opening. He also lobbed barbs at CNN journalists, NBC News and MSNBC.
Wilmore joked about Obama’s failure to close Guantanamo, and the use of U.S. airstrikes in the Middle East. He also cracked that Obama is showing his age near the end of two terms in office. “You came in here looking like Denzel, now you’re going out looking like Grady from ‘Sanford and Son,’” Wilmore said.
Wilmore concluded on a serious note. “When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a black quarterback,” he said.
“Now think about that: A black man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team,” Wilmore said. “And now to live in your time, Mr. President, when a black man can lead the entire free world.”
Wilmore raised eyebrows in ending by using a controversial term based on a racial slur. “Words alone do me no justice. So Mr. President I’m going to keep it 100: Yo Barry, you did it my n—a. You did it,” Wilmore said.
Among the film and television performers at the event were Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Jared Leto, “Breaking Bad” actor Bryan Cranston, “Independence Day” stars Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, actress Rachel McAdams, and “Night Manager” miniseries star Tom Hiddleston.