President Biden, the First Lady, Vice President Harris and the Second Gentleman attended at 7pm on Sunday the Kennedy Center Honors event at the Kennedy Center.
Prior to Kennedy Center Honors event, Biden hosted the Kennedy Center Honorees Reception at the White House. Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels and Justino Díaz are among this year’s honorees.
“It was an honor to host the Kennedy Center Honorees Reception last night,” Biden shared his excitement on Twitter. “Congratulations to Justino Díaz, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels, Bette Midler, and Joni Mitchell on their spectacular careers and contributions to American culture,” added Biden.
Biden joked with SNL’s Lorne Michaels about the show’s struggle casting a “Joe Biden.” Later, after Biden recognized Steve Martin, former SNL cast member, longtime friend of Michaels and past Kennedy Center honoree, Martin quipped “Want me to play you?”
After the program, revelers headed to a holiday-decorated reception, where they were greeted with flutes of champagne. The music, which was very horn-heavy, was very cheerful.
Joe Biden returned to Kennedy Center Honors event by making a formal arrival to the presidential box. President Biden got a standing ovation after David Letterman said “It is very nice to see the presidential box once again being occupied.”
The crowd was all masked, including POTUS and FLOTUS, VP and SGOTUS, who all wore black masks like most of the crowd. Bette Midler was a notable exception with her white mask.
The crowd at the Kennedy Center was tightly packed.
On the day of the Kennedy Center Honors event recording, the White House reporters were given no program for the evening, which made some of the following along a bit more difficult.
CBS will be putting out an official program for the event on Monday to promote the broadcast event.
Some of the in-person appearances during the Bette Midler segment included actresses Goldie Hawn, Scarlett Johansson and Barbara Hershey.
Among the performances, Tony-winner Kelli O’Hara sang “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
During the performance, President Biden watched on and at least at one point he appearing to have his hands in front of him in a prayer position. Near the end, it appeared that he and the First Lady clasped hands.
Billy Porter performed a medley of Midler’s hits, including “From a Distance” and “Boogie Woogie Boy of Company B,” to round out the Midler tribute drawing a standing ovation, including from POTUS and FLOTUS.
The Kennedy Center Honors as an edited, televised version will be broadcast on CBS on December 22.