The president might not be at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner but The Daily Show will be as Hasan Minhaj, a correspondent for the show, will host whatever festivities take place on April 29, 2017.
Of Minhaj, White House Correspondents Association president Jeff Mason said, “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 has been a regular on The Daily Show going back to Jon Stewart’s time behind the desk and has continued to produce terrific clips, including a two-part story on Syria refugees in Canada which included fun sparring with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He’s also already got the notable dinner host thing down, too, as evidenced by his turn at 2016’s Radio and TV Correspondents Association’s dinner which included plenty of barbs directed at then-candidate Donald Trump.
Minhaj seems pretty upbeat about the event, president or no, saying 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.”
He won’t be the only game in town on April 29, though, as Samantha Bee is going forward with her own plans for her first annual “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” with proceeds benefitting the Committee to Protect Journalists.