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Kenan Thompson

SNL's Kenan Thompson Will Host 2020 White House Correspondents' Dinner

Gettyimages | Dia Dipasupil
By Jalyn Reed

On Tuesday, The White House Correspondents' Association announced that this year's host of the White House Correspondents' Dinner will be Kenan Thompson. This will be the first time the annual event will return to comedy since Michelle Wolf gave a controversial set in 2018. The White House has also announced that Hasan Minhaj, host of Patriot Act will serve as the featured entertainer. With the given entertainment lineup for the evening and the end of the comedy hiatus from the White House, everyone is stiff with anticipation as to what will be said at this year's annual event in Washington D.C.

Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey on "Saturday Night Live"
Gettyimages | NBC

The White House Correspondents' Dinner is an annual event held in Washington D.C. that brings together journalists and politicians alike, which feature sets from comedians who poke fun at attendees as a tradition. Since the seventies, Saturday Night Live cast members have been invited to the event to perform, so it is not at all unusual for longtime SNL member, Kenan Thompson, to be asked to host the event. Thompson is a 17-year veteran on the late-night comedy show and is its longest-tenured cast member.

Hasan Minhaj
Gettyimages | Jesse Grant

For Hasan Minhaj, the D.C. event will be nothing new. The Patriot Act host served as entertainment for the correspondents' dinner back in 2017, the first of Donald Trump's presidency. At that time, Hasan was a comedy correspondent for The Daily Show. Minhaj's presence will also mark the first time since 1976 that the dinner will have both a host and a featured entertainer. In 1976, Bob Hope hosted the event with then-Saturday Night Live cast member, Chevy Chase, as the featured entertainer.

Michelle Wolf
Gettyimages | NurPhoto

Jonathan Karl, the White House Correspondents' Association President, said on Tuesday that “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.” The decision to return back to comedy followed a hiatus the Correspondents' Association decided to take after comedian Michelle Wolf gave a controversial set in which she was criticized about several jokes she made about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House Press Secretary.

Kenan Thompson
Gettyimages | NBC

Traditionally, the White House Correspondent's Dinner is attended by the president and vice president along with journalists and administration officials. However, Trump, who has been critically against the news media, has never attended and has ordered administration officials to skip the dinner as well. While it is unclear whether or not the president will attend the 2020 White House Correspondents' Dinner, it is clear that it will be a moment to watch if he does, as the two comedy hosts will surely have something up their sleeve just in case.

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