The annual D.C. event, to be held on April 25, also has partnered with Bob Bain Productions, which has produced events such as the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the Creative Arts Emmys, the Miss America pageant and Trevor Noah’s stand-up specials.
The WHCA last year went without a comedian — after years of tradition — and instead chose Ron Chernow, the historian, who delivered a humorous and insightful speech that put the Trump presidency in context. The choice was motivated in part by complaints over the dinner’s entertainer in 2018, Michelle Wolf, who delivered a blistering series of jokes directed at President Donald Trump and members of his administration, some of whom were present.
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Trump has not attended the dinners during his presidency, so it would be a surprise if he chose to appear this year. His predecessors have made a point of making the gathering, drawing Washington insiders, administration officials and celebrities.
Thompson is the longest serving cast member of Saturday Night Live; Minhaj, host of Netflix’s Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, was the entertainer at the 2017 dinner.
“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,” Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ chief White House correspondent and president of the WHCA, said in a statement. “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 event, The Katharine Graham Award for Courage and Accountability, and the Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage by Visual Journalists. The organization also will be presenting the Collier Prize for State Government Accountability, administered by the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications.
The dinner will be shown in its entirety on C SPAN.
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