‘Largely Tepid’? Critics Aren’t Impressed by Conan O’Brien Correspondents’ Speech

Comedian Conan O’Brien (L) smiles as US President Barack Obama (C) and US first lady Michelle Obama arrive for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner April 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Comedian Conan O’Brien hosted the 2013 White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday night, and according to reports, he didn’t exactly stun the crowd.

The Washington Post’s Mike Berman described it as “a largely tepid routine that didn’t particularly wow the crowd or this viewer,” saying it was “neither incisive nor memorable.”

Sarah Palin had harsher words, writing on Twitter: “That #WHCD was pathetic. The rest of America is out there working our asses off while these DC assclowns throw themselves a #nerdprom.”

(Photo: Twitter/@SarahPalinUSA)

Among other things, Conan joked about CNN’s accuracy, how he wished they could hold the event at a hotel nicer than the Hilton, and how C-SPAN may as well be “an entire channel shot with the backup camera on a Ford Explorer!”

He briefly mocked the president’s predecessor, saying there are “millions of books and documents” at the newly-dedicated George W. Bush presidential library, and if you go, “you can be the first to read them!”  He also asked “how freaking crazy” you’d have to be to be “at the top” of the NRA, considering Wayne LaPierre is “merely the executive vice president.”

Here’s partial video of the speech:

One of the higher points of his monologue was an analysis of the crowd, saying it was like one “big high school cafeteria.”

“Fox is the jocks, MSNBC is the nerds, bloggers are the goths, NPR is the table with the kids for peanut allergies, Al Jazeera is the weird foreign exchange student nobody talks to, and print media is the kid who died sophomore year in a car crash,” he said, adding:  “Cheer up, we dedicate the yearbook to you.”

After joking about the audit he’s looking forward to after making a number of jokes at the government’s expense, Conan closed with a series of images of which television characters would play various D.C. politicians in a film.

Here’s another clip of Conan’s speech, via WPIX: