While President Trump is skipping April’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner (the first time a president has done so in 30 years), The Daily Show With Trevor Noah senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj will be featured entertainer for the hundreds of Washington journalists in attendance.
“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!” Minhaj quipped in a statement. “Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”
With his Daily Show pedigree, Minhaj is no stranger to political satire—especially when it comes to our commander in chief:
Last week, Minhaj and fellow correspondent Roy Wood Jr. announced Trump’s greatest tweet of all time.
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 6, 2017
Minhaj will join the ranks of esteemed comedians who have entertained the press at previous years’ events, including Seth Meyers, Jay Leno and Comedy Central alums Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.
“I am thrilled that Hasan will serve as our featured entertainer at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” Jeff Mason, president of the correspondent’s association, said in a statement. “Hasan’s smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media.”
Minhaj’s comedic chops and intelligence make him a natural choice for this year’s featured entertainer. Additionally, Minhaj is Muslim.
“By uplifting a member of a group that Trump has denigrated,” wrote Salon, “The Correspondents’ Association is offering a conspicuous rebuke of the president’s Islamophobia speech and policy.”
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) April 11, 2017
Members of the WHCA carefully selected Minhaj as an insightful entertainer who will reinforce the group’s commitment to press freedoms.
“I was looking for someone who is funny and entertaining because I want the dinner to be something that people enjoy attending,” Mason told Politico columnist Hadas Gold. “I think that can be done along with giving a message that is consistent with our values, and of upholding the First Amendment, and I think Hasan is in a really good position to do that.”
Minhaj’s prestigious selection comes at a time when The Daily Show ratings are higher than ever. Fellow correspondents are also getting noticed for their quick wit and political prowess, including Jordan Klepper, who is set to follow Trevor Noah with a late-night show of his own. And Comedy Central will debut The President Show at the end of this month, featuring noted Trump impersonator Anthony Atamanuik.
The WHCD dinner will be held on April 29 at the Hilton in Washington, D.C.