TO: Mr. Conan O’Brien
FROM: DC Residents Whom Are Proud of Their Landmark Establishments
Dear Mr. O’Brien,
On behalf of all District dwellers, we hope you enjoyed your time in our Nation’s Capital. We truly love our city and we hope you were able to drink it all in while you were here – it always goes down smooth.
We also want to congratulate you on your almost perfect performance at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. You were very funny. That is, until you started to make fun of the Hilton Hotel, the service, and the quality of the hotel thereby insulting a notable DC landmark as the staff and other employees stood in the back and listened. Not cool bro, we need to have a chat about that.
You said, “I was worried that because of the sequester we would be forced to hold this event at a less prestigious hotel than the DC Hilton. Then I was told that’s not possible.” We can assure you, it is.
We all know that was a joke. Well, it was supposed to be a joke, but jokes have to be funny, yes? I mean, did you hear the room erupt in laughter? We didn’t. Probably because that particular Hilton is bad ass, has an awesome history, and everyone in DC knows it.
Did you know we call it the “Hinckley Hilton” because President Reagan survived an assassination attempt by John Hinckley near the hotel’s T Street exit in 1981? Or that the grounds on which the hotel was built is where an ancient oak tree stood and is said to be the place where George Washington negotiated and signed a peace treaty with a local Native American tribe, known as the “Treaty Oak?” In case you missed it, we take pride in our presidents, and Reagan was even one of your people man!
That Hilton has also hosted an inaugural ball every four years since 1969, and The Doors and Jimmy Hendrix played in that exact same ballroom where you were addressing a crowd of dignitaries and politicos and making the DC Hilton sound like a seedy, run-down hotel in front of the very Hilton employees who take pride in their work and service. I just hope you didn’t know they were standing in the back at least?
Did you know every year a charitable group called “Fight for Children” hosts their annual fundraiser known as “Fight Night” in that same ballroom, where mainly an all-male crowd gathers to eat giant steaks, watch major heavyweight boxing matches, and they let everyone smoke cigars indoors, which if not totally illegal, is certainly frowned upon? But the DC Hilton is just that cool. And I bet it didn’t smell like cigar smoke either, right? Can you imagine how hard it is to remove cigar smoke smell from 36,000 square feet of space? Oh, and they raise over $2 million a year for just this one charity.
What about the fact that the Hilton plays host to the annual DC Mardi Gras festival where Hill staff and District dwellers mingle with displaced Southerners over three nights of debaucherous, bead-tossing, over-served drunken fun?
The Hilton and their staff, gladly and proudly, cater to this city’s every need. From hosting corporate parties to the First Lady’s Annual Luncheon, they do so without hesitation (or an aggressive policy of removing over-served party goers).
In fact, in 2010, an article profiling the Hilton interviews room attendant Mary Johnson who started at the hotel in 1965. Being one of only about five employees who have been with the hotel her whole life, she recounts talking to an 8-year-old Michael Jackson in his hotel room, and her encounters with Muhammad Ali, James Brown, and more. Johnson said she remembers all of her guests saying, “We treat everybody like a president.”
We hope she wasn’t in the room.
Mike Allen from Politico sums it up nicely, writing:
“The jokes disrespected the hard-working servers, who were lined up along the back listening to the remarks, after scrambling to care for a claustrophobic room of the world’s most demanding people. The riff would have been in poor taste even if we had been meeting in a dump: When you’re blessed to be at an amazing event like that, you don’t rag on your hosts. But it was all the more clueless because the Washington Hilton is a classic, historic location.”
We like you Co-Co, we really do, and we hate to come down on you like this, you’re funny as hell. Just be a little more tactful next time. We’d hate to give any credence to Sarah Palin’s “assclown” comment.
PS – Please bring back your “Twitter Tracker” sketch