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President Obama joined members of the media in making fun of themselves and each other, as Washington's players in politics and journalism gathered for the 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday.
The most elaborate skit was an extended video in which director Stephen Spielberg, who also attended the dinner, explained his plan to follow up Lincoln with a new film, Obama — using actor Daniel Day-Lewis, famous for his ability to transform himself into a role.
Obama then spoke on-camera as Day-Lewis, saying, "The cosmetics were challenging. I mean, you wouldn't believe how long it takes to put these ears on in the morning."
And comedian Tracy Morgan then came on to discuss how Day-Lewis helped him hone his performance as Vice President Joe Biden.
Following the president, the event's headline speaker was Conan O'Brien. As usual, the dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel offered a broad sampling of wry one-liners. Here's a rundown of notable moments:
The dinner also had its serious moments, particularly as it followed tragic events such as the April 15 bombing attack on the Boston Marathon, the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, and ruinous flooding in the Midwest.
"These have been some very hard days, on too many of our citizens," President Obama said. He praised the work of rescue personnel and and investigators who answered the need for help in those and other incidents, and he said they set an example for the rest of America, including politicians and the media.
Obama also acknowledged Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, who was at the head table for the dinner, as well as its military service members and veterans.
"If we're only focused on profits, or ratings, or polls, then we're contributing to the cynicism that so many people feel right now," Obama said. "Those of us in this room tonight, we are incredibly lucky. And the fact is, we can do better, all of us."
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