Kenan Thompson to host White House Correspondents’ Dinner
What up with WHCA?
“Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson has been confirmed as this year’s host of the annual White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) Dinner on Saturday, April 25.
An improvisational master, Thompson got his start on Nickelodeon’s kids sketch show “All That” long before he became “SNL’s” longest-running cast member, now in his 17th season.
Hasan Minhaj (“Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj”) who hosted the event in 2017 will return as a featured entertainer. Minhaj has hosted his Netflix series since 2018, and was formerly a senior correspondent on “The Daily Show.”
“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, president of the WHCA and chief White House correspondent for ABC News.
He told The Hollywood Reporter, “We’re looking forward to a lively evening honoring the most important political journalism of the past year.”
The association will debut two new awards: The Katharine Graham Award for Courage and Accountability and the Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage by Visual Journalists. In recognition of exemplary statehouse reporting, the inaugural Collier Prize for State Government Accountability, selected University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications will also be presented.
What was once a congenial gathering to celebrate political journalism has since become a source of acrimony between politicians and comedic entertainers, who have historically hosted gala. which began in 1914. Last year, they departed from tradition by choosing historian Ron Chernow as host.
The non-partisan event aims “to protect the role of independent news media coverage of the president.”
President Donald Trump has not attended the event in three years.
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