Trumped-Up Laughs: White House Correspondents’ Dinner Roasts The Donald

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REUTERS / Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner at a hotel in Washington April 30, 2011.

President Obama may have edged out Seth Meyers in laughs Saturday night as both funnymen ripped on the issues of the past year – and especially the past week.

Noted funnyman Seth Meyers – and the surprisingly hilarious President Obama – took center stage at Saturday’s self-proclaimed Nerd Prom. Pundits and journalists flocked to D.C. to see the nation’s Commander-in-Chief play the role of Comedian-in-Chief for just a night. Obama shed his serious side to respond to the constant criticisms of Donald Trump, birthers and Republicans at-large – with just the right dose of humility.

(More on TIME.com: See an inside look at Obama’s White House)

President Obama took the mic with a grand entrance, taking a cue from Hulk Hogan as the wrestler’s anthem – the one that proudly chants “I am a real American” – played him in. A video montage reminded guests of Obama’s triumph, featuring his birth certificate among other uniquely American powerhouses: Transformers, Rocky Balboa, and Michael Jordan. His monologue began with a self-reflection as he responded to his critics’ claims of arrogance and letting the people down.  Here are our favorite Obama quips of the evening.

On birther rumors:

“Michele Bachmann is here, though, I understand, and she is thinking about running for President, which is weird because I hear she was born in Canada. Yes, Michele, this is how it starts.”

On Donald’s leadership:

“But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir.”

On the important issues:

“[N]obody is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: …where are Biggie and Tupac?”

(More on TIME.com: See why Obama’s support is dwindling)

Trump sat looking smug but humored during Obama’s bit, but when Saturday Night Live actor and writer Seth Meyers took the podium to continue the fun, Trump’s gaze turned cold. Here are some of Meyers’ best jokes:

On powerful world leaders:

“I’m going to make a lot of jokes about many of the people in this room, but don’t worry. I assure that no matter how harsh the jokes, they’ve all been vetted by the man at the top: Chinese President Hu Jintao.”

On the changing state of media:

“The New York times party used to be free, but tonight, apparently there’s a cover. So, like everyone else, I’ll probably just go to the Huffington Post party. And the Huffington Post party is asking people to go to other parties first and just steal food and drinks and bring it from there.”

On Trump’s endorsements:

“Gary Busey recently said Donald Trump would make a great president. Of course, he also said the same thing about a rusty birdcage he found.”

NewsFeed will always have a soft spot for the Weekend Update anchor, who also put on a hilarious act last night. See Seth Meyers skewering the potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates.

(More on TIME.com: See photos of President Obama in Afghanistan)

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