Saturday, June 15, 2024

White House Correspondents Dinner Comes Back Strong, with Two Star Comedians: Kenan Thompson and Hasan Minhaj


The White House Correspondents Dinner is coming back, big time!

After three years of laying low, the WHCA has announced two big comedians to take on Donald Trump: Kenan Thompson and Hasan Minhaj. This pair should bring back the celebrities and the buzz that that the dinner has been lacking since Donald Trump was elected president.

The question now is whether Trump will be man enough to accept his invitation to attend the dinner, set for April 25th. My guess would be: no.

But this is a smart move by the WHCA. When Barack Obama was president, the dinner was the hot ticket of the year. But with Trump’s election, and unending attacks on the press, the dinner has become a no-fly zone. Celebrity involvement has been minimal and all the fun has disappeared. Many parties were cancelled or furloughed until this administration was gone.

“Kenan and Hasan are two of the most engaged and engaging entertainers in America.  I’m thrilled they’ll help us celebrate the role of a free press in our democracy,” said Jonathan Karl, Chief White House Correspondent for ABC News and president of the WHCA.  “We’re looking forward to a lively evening honoring the most important political journalism of the past year.”

The WHCA will be presenting two new awards at the 2020 dinner: The Katharine Graham Award for Courage and Accountability and the Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage by Visual Journalists.  These are in addition to the longstanding Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage and Merriman Smith Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure.

This year’s dinner will also include the inaugural presentation of the Collier Prize for State Government Accountability, administered by the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications to recognize outstanding statehouse reporting.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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