The seven recipients of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors pose for a photo following a dinner hosted by United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, December 1, 2012. The 2012 honorees are Buddy Guy, actor Dustin Hoffman, late-night host David Letterman, dancer Natalia Makarova, and the British rock band Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones). From left to right, back row: John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and David Letterman. From left to right, front row: Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova, and Dustin Hoffman. UPI/Ron Sachs/Pool | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- President Obama and some of the seven award recipients were targets of comedians' jokes Sunday night at the Kennedy Center Honors program in Washington.
Ray Romano riffed off the President Obama's lackluster first campaign debate.
"Do you quit when you are down 1 to 0 in the World Series? No, you keep going," Romano said. "Do you quit when you are down 1 to nothing in the debates? No you keep going, you become the president!"
"It's very surreal that I am talking to the president and first lady ... .I really wish I had voted," he said.
The honorees included TV host David Letterman, Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, actor Dustin Hoffman, ballerina Natalia Makarova and bluesman Buddy Guy.
"I lost my virginity to the first 2 minutes of 'Stairway to Heaven,'" Romano said, referring to the long-running Zepplin song. "I apologized for the next 11."
Jimmy Kimmel called Letterman a "hero to every one of us in this room with the possible exception of those who came to see the ballerina."
"When I was a teenager, Dave was my Justin Bieber," Kimmel said.
Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey also feted Letterman, Baldwin with a Top 10 list -- a Letterman staple -- and Fey saying as a kid she couldn't figure out if Letterman was "a parody of a talk show host ... or a Midwestern goon that was just a little bit off."
The Led Zeppelin band mates were honored by actor Jack Black who called the group the best band of all time, beloved by everyone "from Oliver Stone to Paul Ryan and everyone in between."
Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz and Kid Rock performed musical tributes and Marakova was honored by dance performances.
Morgan Freeman provided an emotional tribute to Guy, the longtime Chicago blues guitarist. He was followed by musical performances by Tracy Chapman, Jeff Beck and Bonnie Raitt.