While comedians were impersonating the presidential candidates at 30 Rock, a few blocks away the presidential candidates were taking a shot at impersonating comedians. Both Sen. John McCain and Barack Obama took to the podium at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel last night, and each delivered impressive comedy set.
(We found this out later — but as we made our way to the SNL Weekend Update Thursday dress rehearsal last night, we ran right into Henry Kissinger while navigating through a half-dozen blocked off streets.)
The candidates cracked many jokes at each other’s expense, but also aimed at elements of the media. McCain said that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews “used to like me, but he found someone new.”
He also joked about MSNBC as a whole. “Its going to be a long long night over at MSNBC if I manage to pull this thing off,” he said. “I understand that Keith Olbermann has ordered up his very own ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner. And they can hang that in whatever padded room has been reserved for him. Seriously Chris, if they need any decorating advice for that banner, ask Keith to call me so I can tell him right where to put it.”
Obama got a shot in at Fox News. “Is Fox News included in the media?” he asked McCain. “Because, I’m always hearing about this ‘love.'”
And McCain used the press to make another point. “We all know the press is really an independent, civic minded and non-partisan group…like ACORN,” he joked.
• And of course, last night was McCain’s much-hyped appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. Check out the clip.
Click continued to see McCain and Obama’s speeches last night…