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Previewing the White House Correspondents' Dinner

April 28, 2012|By Michael Memoli
  • President Obama at the National Issues Conference in Washington. On Saturday night, the main question is how much Obama will take a chance to poke fun at his rival in the presidential race, now-presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
President Obama at the National Issues Conference in Washington. On Saturday… (Molly Riley / Getty Images )

WASHINGTON -- They call it the "Nerd Prom" around here. Otherwise known as the White House Correspondents' Dinner, it gives the usually staid official Washington a chance to bring a taste of Hollywood to the Potomac.

This year is no different, even if the celebrity quotient seems a bit down from the first years of the Obama term. Major news organizations have still managed to fill their tables with a mix of the major inside-the-Beltway power players and boldfaced celebrity names.

This year ABC's Jimmy Kimmel has drawn the hosting duties, following a well-received performance in 2011 by "Saturday Night Live" head writer Seth Meyers.

Photos: The stars of the White House Correspondents' Dinner

But it was President Obama who made the biggest splash with his own comedy routine, the highlight of which was a roasting of then-potential presidential hopeful and real estate mogul Donald Trump. Obama had just released his long-form birth certificate, a move he later poked fun at with a photo montage to the tune of "Real American."

Days later, Washington marveled at the notion that the president managed to let his guard down just as he prepared to give the go-ahead order for the high-risk military operation that ultimately lead to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

This year, the main question is how much Obama will take a chance to poke fun at his rival in the presidential race, now-presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Romney won't be on hand as Trump was last year. But here's a taste of some of the top celebrity names who will be Obama's audience, as reported by Politico and other media outlets:

At ABC's table: "Modern Family"stars Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet. Elizabeth Banks and Paul Rudd. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod.

Atlantic Media: Actor Rosario Dawson

American Urban Radio Networks: Stevie Wonder

Bloomberg: Zooey Deschanel, Kate Upton.

Bloomberg BNA: Holly Robinson Peete.

CBS: Claire Danes, Christine Baranski, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Capt.”Sully” Sullenberger; Rep. Allen West; Rep. Tim Scott.

CNN: Goldie Hawn.

Fortune: Rashida Jones.

Fox News: Kim Kardashian. Greta Van Susteren invited Lindsay Lohan.

Huffington Post:  Daniel Day-Lewis; Dakota Fanning; Anna Paquin; Stephen Moyer, Darren Criss, "SNL" cast member Nasim Pedrad, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke.

The New Yorker: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jason Schwartzman, Aziz Ansari.

Newsweek/The Daily Beast: Reese Witherspoon, Viola Davis; J.R. Martinez, Janet Napolitano, Gen. David Petraeus, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Gov. Jerry Brown.

NPR: Mary J. Blige, John Legend.

People: Josh Hutcherson, actress Diane Keaton, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter Katherine, Sen. Olympia Snowe.

Politico: Charlize Theron, Eva Longoria, Charles Woodson, Chris Dodd, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Bob McDonnell, Jim Messina, Reince Priebus, Eric Schmidt, Ivanka Trump, Sen. Mark Warner.

Time: George Clooney and Stacy Keibler, Leon Panetta, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw.

Reuters: Kathleen Sebelius, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., Eric Fehrnstrom.

USA Today: Martha Stewart, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos.

The Washington Post: Pierce Brosnan

Washington Times: Uggie the dog, Gov. Tom Corbett, Dan Snyder, Michael Rizzo.

For the full list, click here.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

Original source: Previewing the White House correspondents' dinner

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