Posts Tagged ‘White House Correspondents Dinner’

WGA Reception Redux With Rachel

(Captain’s Note: Rachel from Rachel, Rachel I’ve Been Thinking was my lovely companion to last week’s WGA reception at the Newseum- here’s her take.)

Courtesy WGA East

Courtesy WGA East

Okay so I’m a little slow on the guest-blogging but last last Friday (that would be May 8th), Patrick took me as his plus-one to one of the many pre-/post-party events surrounding the White House Correspondents Dinner (aka journalist prom). We got to attend probably the funniest event of the weekend, maybe not including the actual dinner, because President Obama’s speech was hysterical.

Nonetheless, The Writer’s Guild of America, East hosted a reception, stand-up show and panel all packed into one evening at the Newsuem, highlighting the world of comedy news. There are many things to focus on from the night (open bar!) but in particular, the stand-up from writers of the Daily Show, Colbert and Letterman was pretty hysterical. They certainly knew how to play to the very liberal, very hip, urban crowd and the jokes were full of Obama-loving, Bush-hating rhetoric. And pointed cracks at their own awesomeness and general writing prowess.

The comics’ heavy-handed liberalness was a point in the panel discussion,when one audience member asked why the conservative media hadn’t jumped on the comedy news bandwagon. Certainly it could work in the same way that Daily Show and Colbert (obviously the two favorites of the night) make a point of mocking media and politics. A writer for one of the shows (I had a hard time keeping them all straight — it was an open bar after all) said that conservative comedy is out there — in the form of Fox & Friends every single day — and he had the unenviable job of watching every minute of it. No doubt comedic gold.

But the formula works. A very clear theme emerged during the course of the event: these guys (and it was almost all men) were largely unconcerned with making the kind of pop culture waves that they have so often made. When both the recent feud with Jim Cramer by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner were mentioned as great moments, not only for the shows, but for media and news in general, the writers simply said that, sure, they were really proud of those kind of results, for making people sit up and listen, but their goal on a day-to-day basis is just to make people laugh.

One writer said, we don’t expect to be educating anyone. We’re just there to shine a light on the things we expect our audience already knows.

That seems to be the key to comedy news success. To really poke fun, you have to know what’s going on in the first place. And only then can you really laugh at it.

Daily DC Item: Celebs Return To DC For Night At The Museum

If you are already down from the celebrity high that was caused with the past weekend’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner, then you can get another celeb fix tonight.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, will be premiering at (where else) the Air and Space museum tonight and if you take a look at the cast, you know there will be an A-list on the red carpet.

The Going Out Gurus suggest waiting on the Jefferson Drive side of the museum if you want to gawk, scream, and beg for autographs. Guru Jen Chaney says don’t expect arrivals til 6:30 but you’ll want to get there by at least 5 if you want the chance to say hi to Amy Adams, or maybe you’ll get lucky and Ricky Gervais will accidentally sneeze on you.


WGA Throws Pre-WHCA Bash At Newseum

Courtesy of WGA-East

Courtesy of WGA-East

Well tonight is the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, the dinner is known for more humorous moments such as Stephen Colbert ranting on the podium, and Karl Rove showing off his rapping skills. Tonight Wanda Sykes will be on the mic and I’m very interested to see how she does- I don’t think she’s holding back any punches.

The glitz and glam isn’t limited to the dinner tonight, there will be a slew of pre and post parties all weekend, just check out Politico for their party guide.

I had the opportunity of being invited to the WGA East’sWriters Speak!” event last night at the Newseum. I checked out the party with Rachel from Rachel, Rachel I’ve been thinking. She’ll be putting up a guest post on her take of the event later next week.

The place was packed as Hollywood and Washington came together for some stand-up comedy and a panel featuring  TV writers. The panel included J.R. Havlan (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart), Bill Scheft (Late Show With David Letterman), Anthony Jeselnick (Late

Anthony Jeselnick (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) Courtesy of WGA-East

Anthony Jeselnick (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) Courtesy of WGA-East

Night With Jimmy Fallon), Matt Goldich (Best Week Ever), Tim Carvell (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart), Opus Moreschi (The Colbert Report), Tom Ruprecht (Late Show With David Letterman), and Allison Abner (The West Wing)- the night was promised as a, “A Potentially Regrettable Evening With Comedy Writers”, but it will be one I won’t be forgetting too soon.

Not Invited To The Correspondents Dinner? Catch The Politics On Film Festival Instead!

Courtesy Politics on Film

Courtesy Politics on Film

It’s an odd weekend that’s packed with parties, politicians, and celebrities. And I’m not just talking about the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.

This weekend also brings the Politics on Film festival, an annual weekend of bipartisan films that cover a wide range of issues. Last night the festival kicked off it’s inaugural run with an opening night party on the rooftop of 101 Constitution Ave. Among the party attendees were actors Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager) and Peter Riegert (Damages/The Sopranos/Animal House)  who both star alongside Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show) in “The Response“, one of the festival’s official selections.  Dan Glickman, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) were also on hand as they accepted awards from The Bipartisan Policy Center, the organization behind the creation of the new festival. The non-profit formed in 2007 was founded by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George Mitchell. Unfortunately none of the founders were on-hand- I was really hoping for the off-chance to shake hands with Bob Dole.

While I’ve never been in a room with a mix of Washington insiders and west coast creative-types, I learned that they have a lot more in common than they thought.

David M. Edwards is the director of “Sprawling from Grace“, and he tells me that documentary is much more than simple story telling- it’s also a business. His feature documentary covers the today’s urban sprawl and the consequences on our infrastructure. A self-described “prorector” (A producer/director/editor) he essentially created his film mostly on his own, however he made some strategic partnerships in order to secure funding and support. Edwards explains by finding groups and organizations that share the same message and vision, you can create relationships that reduces the burden of creating a feature length indie without big studio backing.

“Sprawling from Grace”  looks at various growing areas of the country and points out how we need to change the way we design and develop our cities to run more efficiently. Arlington and Washington DC were used as locations in the film and we chatted about the role of public transportation and growing areas like Arlington. “You can expand a congested highway [think I-66] and for a little while traffic will go down, but next thing you know the traffic is back,” explains Edwards. He suggests focusing on public transportation like buses and metro, “It’s actually a great thing when you hear stories of The Metro reaching capacity, we should celebrate it.”

Other selected films in this year’s festival include Abraham Obama, an artist’s journey to plaster walls with images to support the Obama campaign; and What’s the Matter with Kansas, a documentary based on the book by Thomas Frank. The films will be screened all over DC, with many of the screenings held at the E-Street cinema.

Check out the Politics on Film website for complete schedule and ticket information.


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