04/27/2008 AT 1:00 PM ET
It was tough to tell who needed more security at Saturday night’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C. – the President or the Jonas brothers.
“It’s crazy,” Nick Jonas said of the Beatles-like frenzy that erupted when the pop trio – also made up of Jonases Joe and Kevin – arrived. “We never expected this.”
The evening’s emcee, Late, Late Show star (and, as of January, a newly minted American citizen) Craig Ferguson, told PEOPLE he was “thrilled but shocked” to receive the invitation to host because he “assumed his first invitation as a citizen would be to Jury Duty.”
At podium, Ferguson joked to President Bush: “Word has gotten out that this is a tough gig to host. So this is really just another case of immigrants taking jobs that Americans don’t want.”
For his part, the chief executive requested of the assembled dinner guests, “Please excuse me if I’m a little tired. The red phone rang at 3 a.m., but it turned out to be the damn wedding planner.”
Two former Playmates, Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson, came to the event armed with their own political agendas. Anderson attended with PETA VP Dan Matthews and combined the trip with a day of lobbying for animal rights on Capitol Hill.
McCarthy told PEOPLE before the dinner that lobbying President Bush to support her June 4 Green Vaccine March on Washington was No. 1 on her to-do list. But it was more likely that she would get to bend the ear of her tablemate, former Secretary of State Colin Powell. “By the end of the night, he’ll probably be like, ‘Shut up already lady,’ ” she foresaw.
Other celebrities in attendance included Rob Lowe, Lauren Conrad, Joel McHale, Marcia Cross, American Idol’s Michael Johns, Colin Firth, Donatella Versace, Ed Westwick, Tim Daly, Rosario Dawson, Martha Stewart, Tracey Ullman and couples Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz, and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.
And who did the Jonas Brothers look forward to meeting? “We hear we’re sitting with Martha Stewart,” said Kevin. “That will be really cool. Hopefully by the end of the night, she’ll say we have good table manners.”