Comedian Minhaj to perform at White House dinner

The Daily Show correspondent said he looks forward to the event and mocked Donald Trump for refusing to attend.

"The Daily Show's" Hasan Minhaj was announced Tuesday as the headliner for the April dinner, marking a stark departure from some of the bigger names who have worked the dinner in the past.

Popular Indian-American stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj would be the main entertainer at the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association, which for the first time in decades would be skipped by a US President.

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 amusing without the buffer of seeing Trump and his people silently fume.

Trump attended the dinner in 2011, and was famously lampooned by then-President Barack Obama.

The Daily Show star called Trump "White ISIS" during last year's primaries and was featured in a recent Daily Show segment that highlighted the president's greatest tweet of all time.

"I was not looking for somebody who was going to roast the president in absentia". However, this year's event will be on a lesser scale than usual.

"It is a tremendous honour to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!"

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. "Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press".

Officials at the correspondents' association say they are emphasising the dinner's promotion of journalism, securing the famed journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward to present awards for some of the year's best White House reporting.

  • Leroy Wright