the “It” couple turned every head as they made their red carpet debut Saturday at the 2022 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Washington’s biggest gathering of top politicians, journalists and celebrity guests. Even big names like Gayle King and drew Barrymore were asked to move on the red carpet once the couple arrived.
“We’re about to step on the red carpet and they go, ‘Gayle, Drew, move! Move! Kete are here,'” King recounted onstage during the dinner.
Kardashian and Davidson, guests of Disney/ABC, posed for photographers before making a quick getaway, avoiding any media interviews. So did Brooke Shields, Meghan McCain, “Jeopardy!” champ Amy Schneider and Miranda Kerr.
White House Correspondents’ Dinner: President Joe Biden roasts President Donald Trump and himself at journalism dinner
But plenty of stars did stop for interviews, including Martha Stewart, Fran Drescher, Billy Eichner, Chris Tucker, Jason Isaacs, Sophia Bush, Fat Joe, Evan Mock, Kyla Pratt and Roy Wood Jr. – the latter showing support for his “Daily Show” boss and the evening’s host, Trevor Noah.
“The last person who needs any tips on comedy on tough topics in front of tough people is Trevor Noah,” Wood told USA TODAY on the red carpet. “I think he’ll be great.”
In what was the first in-person iteration of the event in two years and the first since 2016 that welcomed the sitting US president, the WHCD (known affectionately around the beltway as “nerd prom”), is an annual event that honors reporters covering the White House and raises money for journalism scholarships.
Since the final WHCD of Barack Obama’s presidency in 2016, the event hasn’t lived up to its reputation as DC’s biggest celebrity night of the year – until now.
“It’s so nice to be in person and see everybody,” King told USA TODAY. “Am I worried about COVID? Yes. But it’s just good to be around human beings.”
After a pandemic and an anti-press presidency with little A-list star support, DC’s big night of schmoozing with journalists and celebrities returned to its former glory, even with lingering COVID-19 concerns.
Especially after last month’s Gridiron Club dinner in DC was dubbed a “superspreader” event, COVID safety was a hot topic among the roughly 2,600 attendees. (Noah joked attendees should have known not to come when Dr. Anthony Fauci declined his invite, but “Pete Davidson thinks it’s OK.”)
“Although everyone has been checked for vaccines, it’s still an odd sensation to be (among) thousands of people milling around like sardines,” “Good Sam” actor and “Harry Potter” alum Isaacs told USA TODAY on the red carpet.
Though a celebrity of sorts himself, President Donald Trump didn’t exactly bring the star support with him to the nation’s capital. He declined to attend the event during his presidency; few celebrities attended the dinner. Hollywood’s big stars tend to lean left, and if President Joe Biden’s star-studded inauguration and subsequent visits from Olivia Rodrigo, Angelina Jolie, Ciara and the Hermanos Jonas were any indication, the entertainment industry and the White House’s relationship is back.
“It’s a very strange mix of DC and Hollywood, a bit absurd – very American in that way,” Eichner told USA TODAY of the WHCD. “But I actually do think for better or worse … people who have influence over the culture can help push the country forward. Often, we’ve been ahead of the curve culturally, we’ve been ahead of it politically in this country, and so I’m proud to be a part of that. Mingling like this can be productive if it’s used in the right way.”
President Joe Biden eyes James Corden’s late-night gig
Biden took the stage at dinner, taking some playful – and sometimes not so playful – jabs at Trump, news outlets and his Republican opponents. He also gave a nod to late-night host James Corden, who appeared in a pre-taped sketch with Biden and press secretary Jen Psaki, just days after confirming he’d step down as “Late Late Show” host next year.
“The good news is, if all goes well, I have a real shot of replacing James Corden,” Biden said, comparing the two: Both “great performers, going out on top after eight years on the job – sounds just about right to I.”
Trevor Noah hopes he’s ‘going to be fine’ after roasting Biden
Rarely does a comedian get the opportunity to look at the president sitting in the eyes and poke fun at his administration – again, not something that’s happened since Obama’s final dinner in 2016.
Noah made up for lost time, roasting Meghan McCain, Kellyanne Conway, CNN+ and, yes, the president, who looked on and laughed vigorously at the jokes directed at him.
“You realize how amazing it is: In America, you have the right to seek the truth and speak the truth, even if it makes people in power uncomfortable,” Noah concluded his speech. “I stood here tonight and I made fun of the president of the United States, and I’m going to be fine.”
“I’m going to be fine, right?” Noah feigned concern as he turned to the laughing president for confirmation.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism