By Christina Wilkie - 05/01/11 12:43 PM EDT
Skewering both President Obama and his detractors, comedian Seth Meyers won over a tough crowd on Saturday night as the host of the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
Speaking on the heels of a successful comedic act by the president, Meyers delivered jokes at the end of a dinner at the Washington Hilton for more than 2,000 guests. Few political players were spared, but Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from New Hampshire Senate debate Trump losing cash race in final weeks Vulnerable GOP senator questions opponent's American heritage MORE bore the brunt of it.
Trump, the potential Republican presidential candidate, was in the audience Saturday, but the GOP's 2008 vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin who was a beauty queen in her younger days, was not. Her daughter Bristol was seated in the front row, and laughed.
Former Gov. Palin was in town for the weekend, attending a big charity brunch earlier on Saturday with husband Todd and their daughter.
Meyers also scored laughs teasing Obama about how the president’s looks have changed after two years in the White House.
“When you were sworn in you looked like the guy from the Old Spice commercials,” Meyers quipped, swiveling to look at the president. “Now you look like Louis Gossett, Sr.”
Seated onstage a few feet from Meyers, Obama laughed through most of the routine.
In the audience were dozens of Hollywood stars, including actors Sean Penn, Jason Biggs, Mira Sorvino, Cheryl Hines, Chelsea Handler, Chase Crawford, Patricia Arquette and Omar Epps.
In addition to actors and journalists, scores of lawmakers appeared at the dinner, despite the ongoing congressional recess, which ends Monday.
House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRyan has little margin for error in Speaker vote Top Lobbyists 2016: Hired Guns The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorVA Dems jockey for Kaine's seat High anxiety for GOP Webb: Broken trust, broken party MORE (R-Va.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) all occupied coveted seats as the guests of various news organizations.
Following the dinner, after-parties were held all over the city.
Meyers, during his monologue at the dinner, noted the excitement around Washington's big weekend with a slight smirk. He took the chance to
"I keep hearing how everybody is excited to go to the Bloomberg party," he said. "You know how I'm not in New York? In New York, no one is excited to go to a Bloomberg party. In New York, a Bloomberg party is five people standing outside a bar smoking, complaining about Bloomberg."
Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who was in attendance, is in his third term as mayor of New York City. The eponymous company which made him a billionaire, Bloomberg News, is dramatically increasing its footprint in Washington.
The night’s most coveted invitation has traditionally been for Vanity Fair and Bloomberg’s shindig at the French Ambassadors Residence, but this year, journalists went wild about Sarah Palin’s appearance at a party hosted by left-leaning cable news network MSNBC.
The Tea Party favorite arrived -- and avowed enemy of the "lamestream media" -- close to 1 a.m. and made the rounds. She posed for photos, and enjoyed live music by Cee Lo Green.
A few feet away, newly appointed Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) also enjoyed the festivities, while MSNBC host Rachel Maddow played guest bartender for much of the party.