White House correspondents’ dinner taps Trevor Noah to entertain Washington’s elite

Noah follows a tradition of comedians to come before the WHCA dinner’s guests from the president, administration officials, members of Congress and the press.

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Comedian and TV host Trevor Noah will be bringing the laughs and entertainment at this year’s White House correspondents’ dinner – Washington’s first since the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) last held the event in 2019 before the pandemic. 

Trevor Noah attends the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Los Angeles Convention Center on March 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy )

The WHCA announced that Noah, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, has been named as the “Entertainer” for the annual dinner scheduled for April 30.

“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner celebrates Americans’ freedoms and the working people who bring the news to the world,” said Steven Portnoy of CBS News Radio and WHCA president in a statement obtained by theGrio.

“Trevor is an incredible talent who keeps us laughing — and thinking — four nights a week. We can’t wait for him to help bring our 100-year Washington tradition ‘Back to Abnormal.’”

Noah follows a tradition of comedians to come before the WHCA dinner’s guests of Washington’s elite from the sitting president and their administration to members of Congress and, of course, members of the press. 

US President Barack Obama (R) and First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd L) attend the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, DC on April 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO/YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Comedians and entertainers have been tapped to give remarks at the White House correspondents’ dinner–first held in 1921–for decades. The tradition of having a comedian join the festivities began in 1968 when Richard Pryor was invited to perform a routine. Since then, comics have used the platform to roast the world of politics and its major players.

However, there were some exceptions over the years, like in 2019 when the WHCA decided not to go with a comedian after Michelle Wolf sparked outrage among conservatives at the 2018 correspondents’ dinner for jokes she made about former President Donald Trump – and also calling him a “racist.”

Trevor Noah is no stranger to talking about politics. The South African comedian has often used his on-air time at The Daily Show to take digs at politicians on both sides of the political aisle from Ted Cruz to then-Senator Kamala Harris.

62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show
Trevor Noah speaks onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

In addition to his gig as entertainer at the White House correspondents’ dinner, Noah will host this year’s Grammy Awards. Since taking over hosting duties at the The Daily Show in 2015, Noah published his No. 1 New York Times bestselling memoir, Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, and hosted stand-up specials for Comedy Central and Netflix.

His most recent special, Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia, received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Variety Show and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Comedy Album. Noah also received several Emmy Award nominations for The Daily Show and won two 2021 NAACP Image Awards.

This year’s White House correspondents’ dinner will be the first since 2019. The 2020 and 2021 dinners were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the WHCA, “Proceeds from the event support the association’s year-round work on behalf of the White House press corps as well as scholarships for aspiring journalists and awards recognizing excellence in the profession.”

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