Late-night TV star Samantha Bee of "Full Frontal" pulled in celebrities for the first "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, briefly upstaging the traditional correspondents' dinner.
Here are some of the celebrities who walked the purple carpet before the comedy-filled event.
With President Donald Trump sending his regrets, the attention of the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner was no longer focused on an in-person roasting of the commander in chief.
The red carpet that once featured Oscar winners, TV stars and a few major-league athletes barely turned heads. Instead, speakers at the dinner promoted press freedom and responsibility and challenged Trump's accusations of dishonest reporting.
The stars of the night were Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who recounted what they learned about journalism from their reporting for The Washington Post that helped lead to President Richard Nixon's resignation more than 40 years ago.
And comic Hasan Minhaj roasted the missing president, saying: "I think he's in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."