POLITICS

What works at the Correspondents' Dinner? D.C.'s funnyman journalist decides

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

Before becoming Washington correspondent for Fox Business Network, Rich Edson did comedy, even interning for "Saturday Night Live" during college. "It was just a phenomenal experience, supremely cool for a 20-year-old," he told Yeas & Nays "I was fetching Nat Sherman cigarettes for the guest hosts, so it wasn't necessarily coffee," he added.

Since then, he's done stand-up twice in Washington and also attended a handful of White House Correspondents' Association Dinners, where quality comedy is (sometimes) on display. "I think Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel the last couple of years ... I think they've been the best since I've been here," Edson said, noting that his attendance began with Craig Ferguson in 2008. He also rated President Obama's performances highly. "They've been quite good," he said.

This time around, with Conan O'Brien hosting for a second time, Edson expects the White House Correspondents' Association's decision to book a late-night host to pay off. "I think that they have a really good grasp and handle on what it's like to be the center of attention, but know the appropriate time to hand it off to somebody else," Edson explained. He also noted that with such a heavy Hollywood and New York crowd, O'Brien doesn't have to go totally political. "Some of the funniest stuff out there that I've seen at the White House Correspondents' Dinner [has] been about general news stuff," he hinted.

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