Comedian and Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj will get the honor of hosting this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which President Donald Trump will not be attending because he has a country to ru(i)n.
The dinner has caused nothing but anarchy among media people, some of whom have chosen to avoid the event altogether. New Yorker and Vanity Fair cancelled their parties around the dinner, as did Bloomberg. And while outlets like CBS News and The Atlantic are hosting their parties as usual, Trump’s presidency has thrown off what’s normally a chill chance for media, politicians and celebs to be pretend-friends in an intimate government setting.
The White House staff, normally great sports when it comes to receiving criticism, will also not be there, which takes some pressure off Minhaj but also means he’ll have to work harder to be funny without the buffer of seeing Trump and his people silently fume. Though Trump won’t be “present,” we know he’ll be there in spirit, on Twitter.
Minhaj is obviously a fitting choice in the Trump Era, given the great job he’s done as The Daily Show’s Muslim Correspondent amid Trump’s Muslim ban and his general hatred for everybody. Minhaj said in a statement, “It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD! Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”
While some journalists are choosing to sit this one out, comedians seem game for the event. Trevor Noah said he would’ve been down to host, and Stephen Colbert said he’d love to return if invited. Likewise, Larry Wilmore—who will be fondly remembered for hosting last year’s dinner, Barack Obama’s farewell—said you’d be a fool not to take advantage of a roast opportunity. “If you really are against everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth, or his fingers if he’s tweeting,” said Wilmore, “what an opportunity to let that be known in a very funny and creative way.”
It’s all happening on April 29 at the Hilton in Washington, D.C. Minhaj will have to compete with Samantha Bee, who’s hosting the Not the White House Correspondents Dinner that same night.