By Darren Franich
Updated April 28, 2013 at 06:12 AM EDT
Pete Marovich-Pool/Getty Images

C-Span insistently stamped the hashtag “NerdProm” on their coverage of this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, but the annual political roast looked more like Washington’s answer to the Golden Globes. By which I mean, there were several pointed jokes and untold gallons of booze. Conan O’Brien was the official comedy diplomat of the night — a return trip for the late-night host, who slung jokes in President Clinton’s direction back in 1995. But O’Brien was overshadowed by his opener: President Barack Obama, who took the opportunity to make several jabs at NBC, CNN, and even Taylor Swift. Read on for the best zingers by the former Tonight Show host and the Commander-in-Chief of these United States.

OPENING ACT: President Barack Obama

-On his entrance song, DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win”: “Rush Limbaugh warned you about this. Second term, baby!”

-On how the tribulations of office have worn him down: “I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.”

-On his poor basketball form at the White House Easter Egg Hunt: “I took 22 shots and made two of them. Two hits and twenty misses. The executives at NBC asked: ‘What’s your secret?'”

-On NBC, continued: “I understand that when the Correspondents’ Association was considering Conan for this gig, they were faced with that age-old dilemma: Do you offer it to him now, or wait for five years and then give it to Jimmy Fallon?”

-On Jay-Z’s controversial trip to Cuba: “I’ve got 99 problems, and now Jay-Z’s one. That’s another rap reference, Bill.” (As in “O’Reilly.”)

-On the new CNN: “I admire their commitment to covering all sides of the story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate.”

-On his former consigliere’s new day job: “David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace, because MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.”

-On that Bible Obama-is-Satan nontroversy and how Fox News responded: “They actually thought the comparison was not fair…to Satan.”

-On New Media: “I remember when Buzzfeed was just something I did in college around 2 a.m .”

-On Sheldon Adelson, who spent $100 million in attack ads during the 2012 election: “That’s Oprah money! You could buy an island and call it ‘Nobama’ for that kind of money. Sheldon would’ve been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race. I probably wouldn’t have taken it. But I thought about it. Michelle would’ve taken it.”

-On the sequester: “Republicans fell in love with it. Now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album.”

Main Event: Conan O’Brien

-The inevitable Tonight Show joke: “The President is hard at work creating jobs. Since he was first elected, the number of popes has doubled, and the number of Tonight Show hosts has tripled.”

-On one of the most popular shows on television: “Duck Dynasty are here! Which can only mean one thing: The guys from Storage Wars said ‘No.'”

-On Fox News: “If the President laughs, everyone laughs. And if the Fox News table laughs, a little girl just fell off her bike.”

-On New Media: “I see the Huffington Post has a table. If you’re here, who’s covering Miley Cyrus’ latest nip slip?”

-On key demographics: “Fox News is watched by conservatives, MSNBC is watched by liberals. CNN is watched by the people who clean the offices at CNN.”

-On CNN, continued: “”Now when the logo comes up, James Earl Jones says, “You’re watching CNN?!?!'”

-On CNN, continued, with a very special shout-out to Piers Morgan: “They replaced the popular Larry King with one of the scheming footmen from Downton Abbey.”

-An extended news-media-as-high-school metaphor: “Fox is the jocks. MSNBC is the nerds. Bloggers are the goths. NPR is the table for kids with peanut allergies. Al Jazeera is the weird foreign exchange student nobody talks to. Print media, you’re the poor kid who died sophomore year in a car crash. Cheer up, we dedicate the yearbook to you!”

-On race: “Senator Marco Rubio. Or, as he’s known in the Republican party, ‘our black guy.'”

-On how the tribulations of office have worn the President down, and also on race: “Your hair is so white, it could be a member of your Cabinet.”

O’Brien’s roast ended with an extended bit where he cast a miniseries about contemporary Washington. Joe Biden was played by Bob Barker. John Boehner was played by Tan Mom. Rahm Emanuel was played by Stewie from Family Guy. John Kerry was played by an Easter Island head. And Wolf Blitzer was played by a Furby.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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