Conan O’Brien and Matthew Perry Battle for Title of “Loveliest Party Guest” at the Vanity Fair White House Correspondents’ Association Party
by Juli Weiner
Historically, a great many miracles happen on Washington Correspondents’ Association Dinner weekends: in 2010, Faisal Shahzad attempted to detonate a bomb in Times Square—a violent objective impeded by faulty wiring and an observant citizenry; in 2011, unbeknownst to the American public, the president had ordered the commencement of the Navy SEAL mission to assassinate Osama bin Laden; and in 2013, late last night, Matthew Perry desperately needed an iPhone 5 charger and, we can proudly report, thus received one. The Los Angeles Kings were playing the San Jose Sharks, he explained to Vanity Fair, referring to what we later discovered were two professional hockey teams.
“Oh, a charger? Yeah! We have, like, a whole war room upstairs,” your Vanity Fair blogger said, referring to a room containing several laptops and a charger or two.
Perry nodded gamely, thanked us, and followed us upstairs.
Amongst the MacBooks, we quickly located an iPhone 5 charger. Perry plugged in, checked the score, and then looked over at the construction of the VanityFair.com slide show of the night’s festivities.
“Any good ones of me?” he asked.
We assured him there would be. (And lo!) We also promised we were not interested in hacking his iPhone were he to leave it unattended upstairs. (“There are a few photos in there. . .” he joked.)
Similar to Matthew Perry, your Vanity Fair team was likewise able to pull itself away from the Kings-Sharks. . . match for long enough to enjoy the party below. Just down the stairs, Nicole Kidman, Sofia Vergara, Nicholas Loeb, Kevin Spacey, Eric Holder, Ed Helms, Rahm Emanuel, Chris Christie, Arianna Huffington, Chris Matthews, and Michael Douglas mingled in the foyer.
Unlike last year, the weather was mercifully arid, and guests freely—drily—mingled on the terrace, too. New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg talked with NBC’s Luke Russert and his mother, Vanity Fair special correspondent Maureen Orth. Elizabeth Banks, standing next to Kate Mara and Jeremy Renner, ordered a Macallan on the rocks and a Jack and ginger. Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde stuck together, likewise Bradley Cooper and his date, the stunning Suki Waterhouse.
Elsewhere, inside, Bradley Whitford—“Josh Lyman,” to those of us who subscribe to the invaluable “Fuck Yeah Josh Lyman” Tumblr—spoke with Corey Stoll—“Congressman Peter Russo,” to those of us who watched the entirety of House of Cards in about a weekend.
“You were on the two greatest political shows ever!” your Vanity Fair, known fan girl, called to the pair.
“I know!” Whitford yelled back, smiling.
Whitford—and, yes, fine, your correspondent—were not alone in praising the House of Cards cast. Conan O’Brien, presidential closing-act extraordinaire, spoke with Stoll on the terrace. “You’re so good at this character, I’m like, ‘Wha! Why aren’t you drunk?’”
And O’Brien was so good following Barack Obama, we were like, “Wha! Did you at least get to have fun and relax?”
As he watched Obama completely kill it, O’Brien was dreading speaking, he said. It was only when he got up to the podium that he finally relaxed. Noshing on a lobster roll—and happily taking photos with the gentleman who had prepared his lobster roll—the Conan host fielded well-wishes from admirers like Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who introduced herself and congratulated him.
The conversation, as conversations always do, naturally turned to Bob Dylan. (It’s like Godwin’s Law except, depending on the album, slightly more upbeat.) O’Brien’s favorite record: Blood on the Tracks. His favorite song: “Buckets of Rain.” Did he sing a few verses for us? Readers, he did.
Unfortunately, O’Brien—who, it must be said, is really The Nicest Person Ever—left the party before Glee’s Darren Criss commandeered a piano and led an impromptu sing-a-long to “Hey Jude,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and “I Got Sunshine,” among other standards. No “Buckets of Rain,” though, so O’Brien did not miss that much.
V.F. Goes to Washington
After the Conan O’Brien–M.C.’d White House Correspondents’ Association dinner—at which President Obama slayed the crowd of journalists and celebrities with a particularly potent Daniel Day Lewis impression—Hollywood A-listers and Washington insiders alike repaired to the Kalorama residence of the French ambassador, for the Vanity Fair/Bloomberg-hosted post-game bas
The French Ambassador's Residence
Nicholas Loeb and Sofía Vergara
Wants to be feminine like Sofia Vergara
Party crashers who climbed over the gate
Kary Perry & Sofia
A self-hating woman
Cam & E Banks
Matthew Perry and Tilda Swinton
Kate Mara and Bush
Cast of Anchorman 2
Justin Timberlake's mom
Daneil Dae Kim
Possessed Hawkeye all over again
Darren Criss. I met this guy once. He was very nice.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the Hon. Kathleen Sebelius.
Bon Jovi etc
Congrats to my bb
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