After it was announced, following a prolonged search, that Daily Show senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj would be the host of this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, a number of Who Is Hasan Minhaj-style pieces followed, something that wouldn’t have been necessary for some of the more well-known names to host Correspondents’ dinners past.
And Minhaj alluded to his relative unfamiliarity in his speech at this year’s president-less, celebrity-less dinner. “I would say it is an honor to be here, but that would be an alternative fact,” he said. “It is not. No one wanted to do this, so of course, it lands in the hands of an immigrant. It’s how it always goes down. No one wanted this gig, no one.”
There was some prescience. “Some of [Minhaj’s] best material, particularly his jabs at Trump, Congress, and the media, prove why he’s right for the job,” wrote Vanity Fair’s Laura Bradley on April 11, “because while [WCHA president Jeff] Mason promised that the event would not ‘roast the president in absentia,’ it would be foolish to assume Minhaj won’t take the gloves off at least a few times on April 29—and when he does, you can bet that he will swing hard.”
Roast the president he did, while noting in his speech that he had been asked not to. The president was not the sole focus of his speech, giving those select barbs more power. Come for the Trump jabs, stay for Minhaj’s jokes aimed at USA Today, HuffPost, MSNBC, Fox News and CNN.
It’s worth watching in its entirety.