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CNN Live Event/Special

White House Correspondents' Dinner. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 27, 2024 - 20:00   ET




NARRATOR: They're the journalists who ask the tough questions.

But tonight, the tables turn --


NARRATOR: -- when the president of the United States roasts reporters.

BIDEN: Well, I believe in the First Amendment, not just because my good friend Jimmy Madison wrote it.

NARRATOR: President Biden, set to poke fun at himself, the media, and of course, his challenger for a second term.

BIDEN: We had a horrible plague, followed by two years of COVID.

NARRATOR: Also tonight, jokes from "Saturday Night Live" star Colin Jost.

COLIN JOST, COMEDIAN: New York has finally cracking down on crime.

Sleepy Joe finally woke the hell up.

NARRATOR: Tonight, a celebration of the First Amendment and honoring those on the frontlines of journalism.



NARRATOR: Welcome to CNN special live coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner live from the nation's capital.

Now, your hosts, John Berman and Sara Sidner.


SARA SIDNER, CNN HOST: Oh, that's us.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: They said our names right. SIDNER: Amazing.

BERMAN: Most have been pedantic, spelled out there.

SIDNER: Good evening from the nation's capital, where just moments from now, the White House Correspondents Dinner will begin with the arrival of -- President Biden, I think, has arrived, if I am not mistaken, but then he will roast us all and it will be done in turn to him by the special guest.

BERMAN: That's right. We have speeches, we have jokes, and we have glamour and, you know, given that this is an election year, everything means a bit more, right? The targets, the punch lines.

Let's get right to Harry Enten who was on the red carpet.

Harry, what are you seeing?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I got to tell you, meritocracy simply doesn't work because they have me here for the second year in a row, John. What are we seeing? Look, I have Laura Coates next to me last hour. The fact that she had enough of me, she gets to go in and actually enjoy the dinner while I'm here talking with the two of you.

But you know, to be honest, it's a bit of an honor. I love talking to the two of you and I know that Mister -- Sara, you know, that I love hanging out with you on the weekends. So this is yet another weekend in which we got the hang out.

And I know that Mr. Berman always likes to say that I'm not invited, but the fact is he is invited. He gets -- he's invited to watch the speech on television like the rest of America. They are joining us here this evening. So Berman is an American and, you know, I would just tell you, we've had a load of stars that have come out so far and stars that may not be folks that are in the memory bank of our young ends, but in the memory banks of me. I saw Molly Ringwald? I saw Andrew McCarthy, both part of those brat pack movies in the 1980s that was great.

I got to see Fran Drescher, again that we saw -- I saw her last year. And here's the big thing, guys. She actually remembered me. She actually remembered me, which was to me the greatest thing that has ever happened to me on a red carpet of any sort, whether it be this or if I'm ever invited to the Oscars in the future. So that one's going in the memory bank and we've had a slew of CNN folks that have come out and we've spoken with so far.

So, you know, I love to get roasted by folks when I'm in the chair, I'm at the wall and everyone else is asking me the questions, but I like to turn the tables once in a while and I was able to ask them the question. So, so far, it's been a wonderful evening.

SIDNER: Harry, we're going to turn the tables on you. We're turning the tables on you because somebody who's just slightly a little bit more famous than you just walked and we just saw Colin Jost go to the dias. He is there. Everyone I stood up and clapped for him and I know you're good at telling jokes and you probably wrote some of his jokes potentially.

But let's listen.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies, and gentlemen, please take your seats.


SIDNER: That was an eventful.

BERMAN: Well, no. There's a secretary of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, the recently impeached secretary of homeland security, but not convicted by the U.S. Senate. I mean, look, I'm telling you -- everyone here is laughing. It's true, it happened and he's there at the White House Correspondents Dinner.


And so is Harry Enten, never impeached, never convicted as far as we know.

And I will also say, the audience there, the crowd there has been told to take their seats because I do think very shortly, we will see President Biden walk up onto that stage.

SIDNER: That is the timing. We are expecting him very, very shortly.

And you get to look at this dais here where everybody has to sit for hours and it can be a really good event when you're invited. But poor John.

But as you -- as you sit there, there can be some really uncomfortable moments because you have a comedian who has to roast the president or is expected to rose sitting right sitting right next to them. Okay? Who's just walked in there --

BERMAN: That is the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, and Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, they are there together and we saw Kelly O'Donnell, president or White House Correspondent Association right there. You can see everyone enjoying themselves, enjoying the evening there, prime seating up there on the stage.

I will say, you know, when you are sitting up there, everyone gets to look at you the entire night, which means they see how much you're laughing, they see how much you might be cringing at some of the jokes as well. So it can be a bit complicated.

SIDNER: Everybody's fanning up. I'm going to assume here that we're getting really close. The president must be --

BERMAN: Van's got some observations.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, they're going to probably do that, the presentation of arms.

SIDNER: There it is. JONES: But the thing that you don't get is how big this room is. This broom is like the size of a couple of football field and as awkward as this for people who are up there, it can be very awkward in the room itself because he got a lot of rivals and politicians in another place to talk.

ANNOUNCER: Joseph R. Biden and first lady, Dr. Jill Biden.



ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the nation's colors presented by the joint armed forces color guard, and please remain standing for our national anthem, performed by the U.S. Marine Band.





ANNOUNCER: Now, ladies and gentlemen, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, Kelly O'Donnell.



We're really here.

Thank you to The President's Own Marine Corps Band led by drum major, Master Gunnery Sergeant Duane King.

Good evening and welcome to a great Washington tradition.

What began as a simple dinner for about 50 reporters back in 1921, has grown and grown to this. I need a little help from The President's Own.


O'DONNELL: Thank you, sir.

More than 100 years of heritage, we only get dressed up like this once a year, and now you are a part of the story.

Welcome to the 2024 White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Mr. President, Vice President Harris, Dr. Biden, and Mr. Emhoff, thank you for the gift of your time.

This is a complex moment for our nation and a campaign year, with far away conflicts leave many worried, and wondering about the future, understandably so. We know that, is our backdrop tonight.

We also know there is value in praising exceptional work and promising student journalists. This event is the primary fundraiser for our association and the scholarships we will highlight. So if you believe in our purpose, we welcome your donations and appreciate your generosity.

Master Sergeant, I think we might need a little boost for that. Don't you, sir?


O'DONNELL: That's the call to donate.

And let there be laughter. I hope for lots of side splitting, light the internet on fire laughter. Remember the bowl room is filled with newsmakers, politicians of both parties, cabinet secretaries, senior officials, media executives, entertainers, and journalist and more. So the last year you will hear tonight comes from all those different corners.

So get ready to roast. The humor is intended to zing and skewer across the political spectrum and aimed at the national media, too.

But before we get really going, let me offer some thanks to my employers, Mike Cavanagh, Cesar Conde and NBC News for three decades of adventure, and for your support building to this special night and importantly for giving me the time needed to do this job, to serve as president of the WHCA, which can be --

BERMAN: You were looking at Kelly O'Donnell from NBC News. She is the president of the White House Correspondents Association.


She has done a wonderful job. Yes, she works for someone else, but as long as you're watching it on our network, we're happy about it.

Listen, they are doing some of the preliminaries at the event right now. They're going to take a pause. They're going to eat. When the program really gets going, I promise you we will get right back to it.

SIDNER: We will and you will hear from Colin Josh. You'll hear all those great jokes because we know he's got in. You also, of course, hear from President Biden.

We are going to get now to the red carpet, which we've been looking at. I mean, if there are still people coming in right now, they are for super late.

BERMAN: I think be careful who you're talking about right now.

SIDNER: Just -- I'm just saying. Harry Enten is standing by on the red carpet. He's been speaking at all manner of folks --

BERMAN: That's why I said be careful. SIDNER: My bad.

Hi, Kate.

And our Kate Bolduan.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Well, hello, meaning you guys here.

Harry, we do this every Saturday night.

ENTEN: Every Saturday night together, a dream for me. Saturday nights are always a dream.

BOLDUAN: Maybe slightly, but obviously, you guys would know that just slightly bit more of a nightmare hanging out with Harry for Saturday night, but still because all you would do would be talking numbers or whether, not -- not a nightmare very much in a dream.

If we have the wonderful Rachel Brosnahan with us and collectively, we have decided a very special five things that you need to know about the White House Correspondents Dinner.

May I begin?

ENTEN: Please?


BOLDUAN: Number one, it is not just about celebrities.


BOLDUAN: It's not -- just to hold on. It's not just about celebrities.

It is about celebrating the White House press corps. And you well remember that CNN's own Phil Mattingly won one of the top prizes last year. This year, some of my favorite journalists are receiving awards. Barak Ravid of "Axios", Peter Baker of "The New York Times", and Doug Mills also of "The New York Times".

Number two, it is also about scholarship. We raise tons of money for financial assistance for student journalists attending colleges all over the country. And those students journalists get to attend tonight's dinner and its pretty awesome when we get to see them.

Would you do the honors for number three?

BROSNAHAN: Yeah, nobody eats the food and nobody's told me why yet.

BOLDUAN: Accurate. She was trying to eat a piece of bread and I made her --

BROSNAHAN: It was ripped out of my hands.

BOLDUAN: I kidnapped her. Okay. Sorry, Rachel.

Number four?

ENTEN: Well, the food just isn't very good. That's why we don't eat it.

Number four, although you said its not about the celebrities, it is actually about the celebrities to a large degree.

BROSNAHAN: Thank you very much, thank you.

ENTEN: I like to cover it up. We get to meet the coolest folks early, all over the red carpet, whether it be Fran Drescher, whether it'd be Divined, or whether it'd be the lovely Rachel who's standing right here to my right.

BROSNAHAN: I'm so glad to learn that it's all about us and not at all about a free and fair press and scholarships, which are important.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Thank you so much, Rachel.

And number five, one, last thing you should know is informally, I think lovingly called the nerd prom, but it is its neither prom nor nerdy. It's the press and the president getting together. And I think we should just put it all to -- put it all to bed.

No longer nerd prom.

BROSNAHAN: Which part was the not nerd part?

BOLDUAN: What? Does this because they said it's not about celebrities?


ENTEN: Yes. She's getting back at you.

BOLDUAN: Cut her mic.

ENTEN: But, John, Sara, my dream has come true with two lovely ladies to my right. Now, I'm going to toss it back to another lovely lady and a wonderful gentleman in the studio.

BERMAN: He was talking about us.

SIDNER: Oh, sorry, we didn't know who you're talking about, Harry, honestly.

But I just want to mention that y'all just got roasted by the celebrity, this is not about, just saying.

BERMAN: It was very funny.

BOLDUAN: I know -- I mean, I feel like -- I feel I feel attacked but I'm very appreciative. Thank you so much for coming.

And the reason I also -- and because I need to know because I was so mean to you, she is her because she's also plays a journalist in "Superman". This is Lois Lane, everyone. You are now in the presence of Lois Lane.

BROSNAHAN: Well, thank you. We're midway through shootings so she's not fully birth yet. But we are -- we are in the middle --

ENTEN: She's got Lois but not the lane.

BROSNAHAN: That's right.

ENTEN: There we go.

BOLDUAN: You'll earn the Lane as time goes on.

ENTEN: That's right.

BOLDUAN: Pulitzer Prize winner in the making Lois Lane.

Back to you guys.

BERMAN: That is awesome. A, very excited for "Superman". B, I will say I did narrowly avoid a barest bit because I almost wore exactly what Kate is wearing right now, and if we had been wearing the same thing, you would have been it's always -- it's the same thing.

SIDNER: Sometimes that happens.

BOLDUAN: It would have been offensive. It would look so good on you. You know it. I know it.

BERMAN: I appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: You love boning. You love boning. And of course it did top. I know you do.

SIDNER: Okay. I think we better close this out because -- before his cheeks turned bright red, let's not talk about boning, okay?


BERMAN: This is me not reacting in any way just in case (INAUDIBLE) watching, I am not reacting in any way.

BOLDUAN: And for the record, for record, everybody out there, John says that to us ten times a day. This is me not reacting --

BERMAN: Ten times a day, this is me not reacting, I hear her say.

Kate Bolduan, Harry, and Rachel Brosnahan, thank you so much, the best sport right now in that room.


We really appreciate it.

SIDNER: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" is a fantastic show. She's a trailblazer. That is good. Thank you guys so much. Appreciate it.

BERMAN: All right. We are waiting for the president. We are waiting for Colin Jost. We are waiting for help from somewhere.

This is CNN special live coverage of --

SIDNER: Go to break.

BERMAN: -- the White House Correspondents' Dinner.


BERMAN: All right. And welcome back to our special live coverage of the White House correspondents dinner. And I can almost guarantee that this next story will be on the joke list tonight. Some people not so sure it's funny.

One of Donald Trump's possible running mate contenders made this -- some people would say -- bizarre admission that has a lot of people angry.

SIDNER: Okay, here is the backstory.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem released a new book. "The Guardian" got its hands on a copy and the outlet is flagging a section in which she describes killing her dog named Cricket.


BERMAN: So the easy way to explain what happened here, if you haven't read it, is to read it out loud to you. So we have the main part of the article and we're just going to read it. Okay? So listen in.

SIDNER: All right. So it begins here. Cricket was a wire hair pointer about 14 months old, she says, adding that the dog, a female, had a aggressive personality and needed to be trained to be used for hunting pheasant.

BERMAN: She includes her story about the ill-fated Cricket, she says, to illustrate her willingness in politics, as well as in South Dakota the life to do anything, quote, difficult, messy, and ugly, end quote, if it simply needs to be done by taking Cricket on a pheasant hunt with older dogs, Noem says, she hoped to calm the young dog down. It began to teach her how to behave.

SIDNER: It's such a puppy.

All right. Unfortunately, cricket ruined the hunt, she said, going, quote, out of her mind with excitement, chasing all the birds and having the time of her life. Noem describes calling Cricket than using an electronic collar to attempt to bring her under control. Nothing worked.

Then on the way home after the hunt as Noem stopped to talk to a local family, Cricket escaped Noem's truck and attacked the family's chickens.

BERMAN: So, quote, grabbing one chicken at a time, crunching it to death with one bite, then dropping it to attack another. Cricket, the untrainable dog, Noem writes, behaved like a trained assassin. When Noem finally grabbed Cricket, she says the dog quote, whipped around to bite me. Then as the chickens owner wept, Noem repeatedly apologize, wrote the shook -- wrote the shocked family a check, quote for the price they asked and help them dispose of the carcasses, littering the scene of the crime.

SIDNER: OK. Through it all, Noem says Cricket was, quote, the picture of pure joy. I hated that dog, Noem writes. Adding that Cricket had proved herself, quote, untrainable, dangerous to anyone she came in contact with and less than worthless as a hunting dog.

BERMAN: So at that moment, Noem says, I realized I had to put her down. Noem, who also represented a state in Congress for eight years, got her gun, then lead Cricket to a gravel pit. It was not a pleasant job, she writes, but it had to be done. And after it was over, I realized another unpleasant job needed to be done.

Incredibly, Noem's tail of slaughter is not finished.

SIDNER: Her family, she writes, also owned a male goat that was nasty and mean because he had not been castrated.

BERMAN: Naturally.

SIDNER: Furthermore, as one knows, the goat smell disgusting, musky, rancid, and loved to chase Noem's children, knocking them down and ruining their clothes.

BERMAN: Noem decided to kill the unnamed goat, the same way she had just killed Cricket, the dog. But though she dragged him to a gravel pit, the goat jumped as she shot and therefore survive the wound. Noem says she went back to her truck, retrieved another shell, and hurry back to the gravel pit and put him down at that point, Noem writes, she realized a construction crew had watched her killed both animals. The startle workers swiftly got back to work. She writes only for a school bus to arrive and drop-off Noem's children.

SIDNER: Kennedy looked around confused. Noem writes of her daughter who asked, hey, where's Cricket?

This is not a joke. If you are thinking this is not true, Noem's now defended the scenes in the statements that she made in her own book saying she loves animals, but tough decisions happen all the time on a farm. In fact, she says they recently put down three horses.

I don't know how to bring the panel back after that, but I'm going to do it now. We've got S.E. Cupp, Van Lathan, Van Jones, Scott Jennings and our Cari Champion all standing by.

I -- journalistically, I know that I need to -- you can't kill a dog or a goat like that. It's insane.

Your comments?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's not -- its not Old Yeller, that's for sure. Listen, two things. I hunt over dogs. It's a thing. They don't have to

be put down if they're not great at hunting.

SIDNER: Right.

CUPP: There are 1,000 other things you can do with them before you have to kill it for really no good reason.

Two, this is a thing that some women politicians do. You remember Joni Ernst talking about castrating pigs when she was coming into the Senate to talk about like rural life, life on the farm, makes them seem a little tough maybe. It's not a thing any of but us need as voters, we don't need to hear about it.

Save that trauma for your therapist, ma'am.

BERMAN: Cari, I can't -- I can't tell what you're thinking. I see you look on your face and I can't tell what's going on.

CARI CHAMPION, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I'm -- I'm a dog owner. I had a dog who recently passed header for 18 years, so I'm just -- I'm at the humanity aspect of it.


I don't know. I have never lived on a farm and believe it or not, I think there are people somewhere in Middle America wherever they live that can understand what she said. I don't know who they are. I can't quite understand that and I don't know why it needs to be documented, but there's this thing where people want to your point, some sort of credibility. I don't know what she felt like that would make her look like or feel like or if people were going to say that this is what I want, someone who knows is no nonsense.

It's really disgusting and I think also traumatizing and she writes that the dog behaved like a trained assassin. I said who says -- like didn't you feel --


SIDNER: That is a job to go after the things you're hunting.

VAN LATHAN, HOST, "THE HIGHER LEARNING PODCAST" ON THE RINGER: We'd have to be smarter about it. This lady snapped.

CHAMPION: But they do this.

LATHAN: She went on an animal rampage, killing spree. And it was all across the areas of zoology. She then killed three horses, a goat, and a dog like this. This is troubling.

SIDNER: In front of children.

LATHAN: In front of children.

SIDNER: Her own daughter. LATHAN: A 14 -- where is Cricket? What does it -- God, that's like a Stephen King novel. What are we supposed to make it? It's insane.

BERMAN: I'm doing my best. There's two aspect of this, and I absolutely, Cari, understand the aspect as a dog owner, having that visceral reaction as some are describing this. So, that's what she did and people can take that for what it is, judge it as they want.

And then there's the decision to write about it write about it, but frankly to brag about it and brag about it because you think you're going to get something out of it.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, on your screen, he's breathing a sign of relief tonight, the president. He was the worst dog owner in America.

We still don't know what happened to Commander, by the way, we have no idea. Now, Kristi Noem is the worst. So congratulations, Joe Biden, you've gone down.

SIDNER: We should to jump in and say that, you know, his dogs are attacking people in the White House and bit --

JENNINGS: Biting numerous secret service agents. There's no bad dog, only bad owners.

Yeah. Governor Deville has -- I mean, Noem, has a --


JENNINGS: It's cold in the Dakotas, she may have needed a coat, I don't know.

SIDNER: Oh, my God.


JENNINGS: This is a terrible PR problem, but worse there are two other sort of technical terms. It's psychopath. Nobody shoots a puppy dog like this. I have a puppy right now.

The way you communicate to dogs who -- you call them by their full name instead of there -- instead of their first name. So whenever my bulldog Elvis, like when he jumps on the kitchen table, you just got to if I say Elvis J. Bulldoggington III, then he -- he will jump down.

I never have contemplated shooting him off of the kitchen table.

CUPP: Wild.

SIDNER: You can -- you can send them to the pound if you really. I mean, that's --

CHAMPION: Or training.

SIDNER: You can train them. (CROSSTALK)

SIDNER: Okay. So, Van. Sorry. So Van Jones and Scott, if anybody the table, but, Van, is she still in the running for VP, especially after this?

JONES: Look, Lyndon Johnson picked up a beagle by the ears.



BERMAN: And soon was out of the presidential race are a number of reasons. Vietnam was one of them, but abusing dogs has a pretty poor track record of advancing political careers. I think she's out.

BERMAN: Mitt Romney --

CUPP: Yes.


BERMAN: -- talked about how a family road trip they put a dog on the roof in a cage and -- the dog got sick, and it hurt him in the campaign. It actually was a thing where people -- that's a different planet.

CUPP: That was ridiculous. You remember, because I was there. You were all there Democrats made Mitt Romney a monster, among other things. He was an animal killer and that was --


CUPP: This is a self -- he was sexist pig.

This is self-induced.


CUPP: Unforced error, you don't need it.

LATHAN: She thought that communicating this to the electorate, that's going to help her. So, what --

JONES: What if it does?

JENNINGS: No. Is there not a staffer or consultant anywhere within 100 miles of this governor that's like, hey, I know, I know you love that story.

CUPP: Right, don't tell it.

JENNINGS: But maybe you don't put it in the book. Is there an editor --

(CROSSTALK) CUPP: And also, stop doing commercials for like dental implants, and other weird stuff. She's on a weird one.

SIDNER: We should note that someone did complain and is hoping that she gets charged with animal cruelty. So there is -- there is a complaint out there after reading this because people were so disturbed after seeing the story.

And then the very last thing just hearing that her daughter was like, where's Cricket, that hurt me.

BERMAN: I wonder if she's trying to get out in front of the story somehow because she thought her daughter would leak to the press. So --


SIDNER: Or those construction workers.

CUPP: Construction workers were going to talk.


SIDNER: Yeah. Nothing else to say.

CUPP: But is there a world in which Donald Trump loves this? I would not put past him, but I don't know.

JONES: Even Donald Trump, like he has basic political instinct. I think people are starting to pop, and I thought honestly, once you read it, who say, oh, well this makes sense. Every line was more horrifying.


LATHAN: Why -- after you've murdered the dog, why would you talk about the fact that your child -- why would you talk about the fact, like it's got worse and worse.


CHAMPION: He's like calm down. John's --


CHAMPION: We've done it.

BERMAN: We're going to take a break. You know, I think we're probably done with Cricket for now.

SIDNER: Well --

CHAMPION: She was --

BERMAN: We will hear more from President Biden in a little bit and Colin Jost, CNN special live coverage of the White House correspondents dinner.


BERMAN: Welcome back to CNN special live coverage of the White House correspondents dinner. I'm John Berman with Sarah Sidner.

We are waiting to hear from President Biden. We're waiting to hear from "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update" anchor Colin Jost.

Joining us now is another "SNL" legend, actor and comedian Kevin Nealon.

Thank you so much for being with us and joining us to watch the event tonight.



I can't wait. Hold on a second. No bad, bad. Put that down. Put that down, Cricket.


NEALON: Sorry.

SIDNER: So, you were paying attention.


BERMAN: We were all lighting a candle.

Kevin, it's great to see you. And you, of course, also were an anchor on weekend update. I have to believe that kind of thing is the perfect training to deliver a roast or a speech like the one that Colin Jost is going to give tonight.

NEALON: It's the most training I think you can get for that, but there's never enough training for anything to stand in front of those people and deliver your set.

Oh, my God, it is so stressful, John.


NEALON: Well, first of all, because I said so.

Second of all, because -- because there's so many, you know, people out there that are watching you closely and they're watching to see how the president is laughing at you.

When I did it, it was the Clinton administration and they both went off to Africa. I don't know if it was official business or not, but I think is because they knew I was going to be delivering that set and they knew id be roasting them and you know how cutthroat I can be. So I remember I had the flu at the time and I was like, all choked up your nasal stuff and I went out there and just did what I could do. It was and then at the end, Peter Jennings came up to me on the dais below me. He said, don't feel bad. The speakers were out in the back.

SIDNER: We're seeing some video of you with a cutout of President Clinton there and on the dias.

I wonder, you said it's really, really hard. It's hard to get people to do this? I mean, are comedians like, no, no. We're good. We don't -- we don't want -- this is not something we want to do.

NEALON: You know, Sara, it's one of those things where, you really know its going to be a hard job, but you can't say no to it because it's such a high profile place to be. So you see -- you say yes and then you're in it and you got to go through with it.

I think Colin will be great at it. I love -- yeah. Colin is fantastic. I love his delivery. He's smart, he's funny, he's clever, and he's always had great jokes. So I'm excited to watch him.

BIDEN: What's the target space for you up there because you have to make jokes about the president of the United States who is sitting right there. You've got to make jokes that get very close to that line. If not, put your toe just over it. I mean, is there pressure to be really hard on him? What kind of pressure do you feel in that direction?

NEALON: Well, you certainly have to be bipartisan and you certainly do have to poke fun at the president. Also, you have to touch on some of the topical events that are happening in the world.

You know, like abortions are very touchy subject right now, and that's one of the big election things people will be talking about. Now, I think the big question about abortion is when does life actually begin? Now what worries me is a lot of people say life begins at 40. Do you understand?

SIDNER: Oh, we understand.

NEALON: But anyway, that's the kind of thing you have to do you have got to take topics like that and play with it.

BERMAN: Yeah. Sometimes --

NEALON: You have a little bit of a delay here --

BERMAN: Sometimes, you try them out first. They don't work. You try something else. It's just the way it is. I think with comedy sometimes.

NEALON: That's the problem. That's the problem with doing this event because you don't have a chance to rehearse it. You're going right out there and doing it unless you can get the president to come over to your house and night before and run a few of them in front of them otherwise, no. BERMAN: Kevin Nealon, I have to say, it's an honor to get to speak to you tonight, to speak to someone who's been there, been in this moment, we can really get a much better sense of what it must be like for Colin Jost, who, by the way, has to sit there now in wait for 45 minutes before he gets to go up and tell those jokes, which must only make it more nerve wracking.

Kevin Nealon, great to see you. Thank you.

NEALON: That's the worst.

BERMAN: Thank you for being nicer to Sara and me. I appreciate it.

SIDNER: And not making this awkward at all, at all.

We're going to go. Thank you so much.

We're going to go back to Harry Enten talking --

NEALON: Thanks, guys.

SIDNER: -- to more celebrities who are in the room. Stay with us. So there you're also looking at President Biden and Norah O'Donnell there on a dias, oh, Kelly O'Donnell, Kelly O'Donnell.

BERMAN: Because I said so.



SIDNER: Our special coverage from the White House Correspondents' Dinner continues. We're waiting for President Biden and Collin Jost of "SNL" to speak.

But now, our Harry Enten on the red carpet with some pretty familiar faces to you all.


ENTEN: So I'm here on the red carpet with two of CNN's finest anchors. We've got to my immediate right, Kaitlan Collins, and then to my distant right, Wolf Blitzer.

Guys how are you doing this evening?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST, THE SOURCE: We're lovely. We are so excited to be at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: We're very happy. I've been to many of these White House Correspondents Dinners and it's always great.

COLLINS: Wolf picked me up, and on the way here, I actually asked him how many White House Correspondents' Dinners have you been to? And he said, oh, between 20 and 30. ENTEN: You know, 20 and 30. That's about my age at this particular point. So why do you think?

BLITZER: So many of these White House dinners offs and they're all fun. I'm a former White House correspondent. So for me, it's personal.

ENTEN: It's personal for Wolf Blitzer, coming to a theater near you.

Kaitlan, let me ask you this. Do you ever take off ever because every single time I look on our air, you're always there.

COLLINS: I live at CNN actually, I think you've slept at the bureau once or twice, too, right?


ENTEN: I may or may not have had an inflatable mattress that went into certain people's offices from time to time. Maybe we had the same brand. I don't know.

Wolf, have you ever slept at CNN?

BLITZER: She's a hard-working young girl.

I have. In my office, I have a couch, I haven't slept there many times. But once in a while, if they do a late live shot and have to do an early morning live shot, instead of driving home, I'll just stay there, not often.

COLLINS: I've modeled my work ethic after Wolf's, which is, his motto is --

BLITZER: When you're young, your work. When you're old, you play golf.

COLLINS: And we're both young so we're both working.

ENTEN: That's exactly right. Wolf Blitzer, the youngest man at CNN, I believe. In fact, I think the Guinness Book of World Records just awarded you that.

BLITZER: CNN's great. I love CNN. We're the Cable News Network. As Ted Turner said to me when he hired me, only 34 years ago, he said, remember, news, NEWS. We're not the cable entertainment network, we're not the cable sports network, we're the cable news network.

ENTEN: Wow, guys go enjoy the dinner. Thanks so much for joining me here on the red carpet.

BLITZER: Thanks for having us.

COLLINS: It's such an important dinner, and, of course, there's a lot of glitz and glamour, but the focus is on the free press and the reporters who covered the White House which as Wolf said, it's personal to the two of us.

BLITZER: Kaitlan's a former White House correspondent, too. ENTEN: Fantastic.


SIDNER: I mean, Wolf Blitzer is a CNN's great. So take note. Take note.

BERMAN: CNN's great right there. But the Nicola and Hill (ph) just say it every time. It's fantastic.

We are waiting to hear from President Biden and Colin Jost, they speak any minute. They are what -- you are watching CNN special live coverage of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Stay with us.



SIDNER: And we're back. You're watching special live coverage of the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Harry Enten is on the red carpet now. We have seen the president. He is there. Colin Jost is there. And Harry is on the carpet with another childhood crush.


ENTEN: What are you doing here this evening?

MOLLY RINGWALD, ACTRESS: I was invited. It's an evening that I often watched on television and something I always enjoy. And I'm just really excited to be here to have fun and also to support journalists, and I think it's a really hard job. You know, what journalists do.

Yeah. I mean, it is and I feel like journalists need to be protected and supported. So I'm here and supported them.

ENTEN: Fantastic. Now, obviously, in the movie in "Pretty in Pink", if I'm remembering my story lines correctly, you did go to a prom. And so this is known as a nerd prom. What is the difference between a nerd prom as this, and a real prom?

RINGWALD: I don't know. I didn't actually go to prom because I felt like I had already done it. I filmed "Pretty in Pink" the same year that I graduated. I -- so I felt like id already gone, you know I felt like I had enough. So I don't know -- but I'm really excited to be here for nerd prom.

ENTEN: Fantastic.

One last question for you. You've been on a lot of red carpets. We have sort of a mini red carpet, sort of going on.

RINGWALD: It's red. It works, it works.

ENTEN: Does it -- does it - does it count? RINGWALD: I think so. Yeah. It's red and it's a carpet, it counts.

ENTEN: There we go, folks. So even if I never go to the Oscars, I can say, I was right near the red carpet with Molly Ringwald.

Molly, thank you.

RINGWALD: Thank you.


SIDNER: Harry's really trying --

BERMAN: Wonderful to hear from Harry --

SIDNER: And Molly. It's -- she's like some of our childhoods were basically mixed up in all of the antics and movies that she did.

But Harry's really trying to get to the Oscars. Have you noticed that?

BERMAN: I think Harry does.

I also want to say, like everyone now wants to go to prom with Molly Ringwald. I think we all want to be the people who go with her to make sure she gets a chance to see it.

Coming up, the next hour of President Biden and Colin Jost. We're going to speak live to another person who hosted this event. This is CNN's special live coverage of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. It's going to really get going in just a minute.