President Donald Trump won’t be at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, but Hasan Minhaj will be.
The “Daily Show” correspondent and Davis High School graduate was announced Tuesday as the headline performer, joining the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, who hired Minhaj in 2014.
In a news release, the up-and-coming comedian made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the president’s Twitter style, saying: “It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!”
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The day after the presidential election, Minhaj aired his fears about a Trump presidency on the “Daily Show,” referencing Trump’s call in 2015 to ban all Muslims from entering the country.
“Like many Americans, I have spent the past 12 hours refreshing the Canadian immigration website, which keeps crashing,” said Minhaj, a first-generation Indian American, and Muslim, to Stewart’s successor, Trevor Noah.
“So I am panicking, because melanin doesn’t rub off,” he added, while rubbing his forehead.
WHCA President Jeff Mason made the announcement on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday, saying the April 29 dinner will be “different” without Trump. In a statement, Mason says the event “will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media.”
Trump was famously the butt of jokes from President Barack Obama at the 2011 dinner. Trump announced in February that he wouldn’t attend this year.
Last year, Minhaj served as guest entertainer at the Radio and Television Correspondents dinner at which Gov. John Kasich gave the keynote address.
“John, we have so much in common,” Minhaj said in his opening, “you know, we’re both from small towns, people can’t pronounce our names, and neither of us will ever become president.”
Minhaj, 31, performed his show, “Homecoming King,” to sold-out crowds in Davis at the Mondavi Center in January for a Netflix special. He lives in New York.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.