Joel McHale: I Want to Be Funnier Than Obama at White House Dinner

Image: Joel McHale: I Want to Be Funnier Than Obama at White House Dinner

Friday, 02 May 2014 12:25 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Joel McHale said his goal is to be funny Saturday when he headlines the White House Correspondents' Dinner, rather than try to prove that he's some sort of political insider.

"There's just no precedent for it and there's not many gigs where you sit and eat dinner for two hours with the first lady before you get up on stage and perform and the leader of the free world goes on before you," McHale told Politico. "There's nothing normal about it. You know that what you're getting into is very strange. The whole thing is bizarre. It's great."

McHale, known for hosting E! Network's "The Soup" and starring in the comedy "Community," told Politico that he picked the brains of past headliners Craig Ferguson (2008), Seth Meyers (2011), and Jimmy Kimmel (2012) while preparing for his stint among the nation's political leaders and Hollywood guests.

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"We're thrilled that Joel will headline the dinner when we celebrate our centennial," Steven Thomma of the White House Correspondents' Association said in February statement. "He's sharp, funny, and just the type of comic who can navigate the unique challenge of our dinner, making fun of Democrats, Republicans, and especially the news media. Washington can use a little good-natured ribbing."

McHale said he feels the most pressure to be funnier than President Barack Obama.

"He's so savvy and so cool and that's what makes it more difficult . . . that I know the jokes he's going to tell before me are going to be dynamite," McHale told Politico. "I've watched his speeches and it really is quite a thing to see, the leader of the free world nailing it."

On Tuesday, McHale poked fun at the dinner's "Nerd Prom" nickname on Twitter.

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