‘SNL’ Star Kenan Thompson To Host White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson will host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner for the first time. Thompson, who has been a cast member of the late-night comedy sketch series for 17 consecutive seasons, will assume the duties for the black-tie event, which will be held Saturday, April 25.
Joining Thompson as the evening’s featured entertainer will be Hasan Minhaj, the host of his own Netflix show, reported New York Daily News. Minhaj attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner as a performer in 2017.
“We’re looking forward to a lively evening honoring the most important political journalism of the past year,” said ABC veteran newsman Jonathan Karl, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA).
Thompson has lampooned Donald Trump as if he were African American via a character called Darius Trump on the sketch series.
Saturday Night Live has a long history of poking fun at all sitting presidents and corresponding government officials in its cold open, the sketch that opens the weekly series, and during both taped and live sketches.
During his Saturday Night Live tenure, Thompson has set a record for the most celebrity impressions performed on the show. In 2018, he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
The actor, comedian, writer, and producer is the latest Saturday Night Live star to helm the event. Over the years, SNL stars Darrell Hammond, Seth Meyers, and Cecily Strong have also hosted.
Other notable hosts of the WHCA dinner have included Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, Drew Carey, Jay Leno, and Cedric the Entertainer.
The White House Correspondents’ Association is an organization of journalists who cover the White House and the president of the United States.
In 2018, comedienne Michelle Wolf made a series of unfavorable jokes during the dinner that targeted former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and there has not been a host since. The next year, presidential biographer Ron Chernow was a speaker at the dinner, but no host was featured.
Both the president and the vice president generally attend this lively nonpartisan event. The dinner is for the press and public officials to enjoy an evening that supports the work of the WHCA, which protects the role of independent news media coverage of the president.
Donald Trump has not attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner during his tenure. In 2019, Trump ordered administration officials not to attend the correspondents’ dinner, reported The Hill.