WASHINGTON -- If the White House Correspondents' Dinner was any indication, all it takes to get a room packed with journalists and celebrities laughing is a series of jokes about eating dogs, the size of Mitt Romney's bank account and Kim Kardashian's attendance.
The dinner, a celebration of Washington journalists, is complete with awards for excellent coverage and scholarships for aspiring reporters, but what ends up taking all of the headlines is the president's humorous address and the subsequent comedic routine by the host.
Saturday's dinner was no different, with President Obama and host Jimmy Kimmel touching upon a number of topics, from canine consumption to congressional inaction.
Not every joke had a warm reception though. Former Current TV host Keith Olbermann, mocked during Kimmel's routine, took to Twitter to say it's "funny that Jimmy Kimmel ripped me after his people desperately wanted me to fly to LA to be on his show this past Wednesday."
CNNand TheBlaze.com contributor Will Cain asked whether another Kimmel joke, which suggested that Olbermann had "more pink slips than Marcus Bachmann," was in good taste.
"Why is it OK to make fun of him, then?" he asked CNN's Don Lemon and contributor LZ Granderson. "Is it just because of his politics or because he's a public figure? I'm really curious. Why is it OK?"
Obama smiled along as Kimmel took shots at him, though inside he may not have been thrilled with some. At one point Kimmel sarcastically asked, "Remember when the country rallied around you in hope for a better tomorrow? That was a good one." Obama's grin seemed more forced when the cameras cut to him.
The first lady, though, seemed to especially like Kimmel's opening joke about the president's ears.
But at least one person being lampooned went along with the jokes, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose weight was the subject of three jokes from Kimmel, was shown on camera laughing along with the rest of the audience. Christie has said before that as long as jokes about his size are funny, he's fine with them.
Romney was inevitably going to end up as the butt of a few jokes, and Obama took the lead in poking fun at the former Massachusetts governor.
"It's nice to be here in the nice, vast Hilton ballroom," Obama said. "Or as Mitt Romney would call it, a fixer-upper."
"We both have degrees from Harvard," Obama later added. "I have one, he has two. What a snob."
"When I think of Mitt Romney, I don't think of Etch-a-Sketch," Kimmel said. "I think of Twister. One foot on red, one on blue and both hands on green."
Obama also presented his own versions of the series of dog-eating jokes that have been springing up over the past week after the outrage over his having eaten dog meat as a child.
"What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?" Obama asked. "A pitbull is delicious."
Nonpolitical figures weren't safe from being mocked either, with Kimmel suggesting that Kardashian is a danger to the country worthy of Seal Team Six's attention.
"If you're looking for the greatest threat to America right now, she's right there," Kimmel said, pointing to Kardashian.
"Seriously, guys, what am I doing here?" Obama asked off of the stage at the beginning of his speech. "I'm the president of the United States, and I'm opening for Jimmy Kimmel?...Why am I telling knock-knock jokes to Kim Kardashian? What is she famous for, anyway?"
The sharpest remark of the evening came from Kimmel at the conclusion of his monologue.
"Some people say journalism is in decline, they say you've become too politicized, too focused on sensationalism, they say you no longer honor your duty to inform America but instead actively divide us so that your corporate overlord can rake in the profits," Kimmel said. "I don't have a joke for this, it's just what some people say."