White House correspondents’ dinner continues, with organizers swapping an August date for August in late April, the White House Correspondents Association announced Monday.
The 2020 dinner now takes place on August 29 – with ‘Saturday Night Live’s’ Kenan Thompson hosting and comedian Hasan Minhaj re-booked as entertainment.
“For most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic was the most important story of our lives,” said WHCA President Jonathan Karl. “We hope that our rescheduled dinner in 2020 will be an opportunity to celebrate the kind of important journalism we’ve seen during this crisis.”
Kenan Thompson (left) is hosting the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year, while Hasan Minhaj (right) returns as entertainment. The WHCA announced on Monday that dinner would be moved from late April to August due to the coronavirus pandemic
The WHCA said “public health and medical officials” were advised to come with the new date.
Thompson and Minhaj were previously billed as the talent for dinner.
In 2019, the organizers had dropped the comedic part in the wake of the controversial set of comedian Michelle Wolf, with SiriusXM’s then-WHCA president Olivier Knox, who invited historian Ron Chernow to deliver a speech instead.
Historically, the President of the United States prepared a comedy set to be delivered over dinner.
He would then be followed by a real comedian.
There was a tradition of biting comedy in the past, from Stephen Colbert’s roast of President George W. Bush in 2006 to Wanda Sykes tearing about waterboarding in 2009, heralding the Obama years.
But the momentum has changed with President Trump as he refuses to attend the dinner hosted by the Association of White House Correspondents, whose membership includes the White House and political journalists.
In 2017, dinner went without a hitch with Minhaj headlining, though it didn’t draw the madness of Hollywood stars the so-called ‘Nerd Prom’ did through Obama’s years.
Michelle Wolf’s over-the-top removal of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had organizers of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner undermine the comedy
Comedian Michelle Wolf then went to the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (pictured) while sitting a few feet away
In 2019, historian Ron Chernow spoke at the end of dinner instead of a comedy act
Katie Couric (left) poses with Jenna Dewan (center) and Chrissy Teigen (right) at the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Businessman Donald Trump can be seen at dinner in 2011. That year, both President Obama and comedian Seth Meyers mocked Trump from the podium
Donald Trump (left) declined to appear at the dinner as President, but he would come as a private individual. He and now first lady Melania Trump (right) attended dinner in 2015
In 2018, Trump allowed some government officials to attend, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who sat on stage with WHCA’s leadership.
It was those optics that made Wolf’s jokes about Huckabee Sanders seem particularly brutal.
With Huckabee Sanders just a few feet away, Wolf said, “Every time Sarah walks onto the stage, I get excited because I’m not really sure what we’re going to get. You know, a press briefing, a lot of lies or divided into softball teams: “They’re shirts and skins and this time you’re not so small b ****, Jim Acosta!” ‘
“I really like Sarah. I think she is very resourceful. Like she’s burning facts and then using that ashes to create perfect smoky eyes, ”Wolf continued. “As if she might have been born with it, maybe it’s lies.”
“They’re probably lies,” said the comedian.
Wolf also compared the press secretary to the menacing ‘Aunt Lydia’ character in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.
“And I never know exactly how to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know? Is it Sarah Sanders, is Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is Cousin Huckabee, is it Aunt Huckabee Sanders? Wolf said. “What is Uncle Tom, but for white women who disappoint other white women?”
“Oh, I know, Ann Coulter,” said Wolf, with a sharp name for the sharp-tongued conservative scholar.
Stephen Colbert (right), then host of ‘The Colbert Report’ from Comedy Central, toasted President George W. Bush (center) at the 2006 dinner
President Obama (right) had Keegan-Michael Key (left) appear next to him at the 2015 dinner to play the role of his ‘Anger Translator’
Celebrities always flocked to dinner. Here, Kim Kardashian (left) talks to Chrissy Teigen (right) about the 2012 affair
Wolf’s bit got mixed reactions at the Washington Hilton ballroom and snowed out to full controversy beyond.
In 2019, even headlining Chernow, Trump told White House officials not to go.
But this year’s president, ABC News Karl, wanted comedians back.
Kenan and Hasan are two of the most engaged and engaging entertainers in America. I am delighted that they will help us celebrate the role of a free press in our democracy, ”Karl said in a statement when the talent was announced in February. “We look forward to a lively evening in honor of the most important political journalism of the past year.”
The dinner provides a glitzy backdrop to give WHCA scholarships to journalism students from all over the country.