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The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj to Headline White House Correspondents' Dinner

by Ali Vitali /
Hasan Minha, a correspondent with Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," will be entertaining at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 29.Dan Hallman / AP

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President Donald Trump won't be attending the White House Correspondent's Dinner, but the show will go on.

"Daily Show" correspondent Hasan Minhaj will be entertaining the press corps at the April 29 gala, White House Correspondents Association President Jeff Mason announced on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday.

"It's a different dinner," Mason said. "President Trump has said that he will not be coming, but we will still be celebrating the First Amendment and the importance of a free press."

Minhaj said in a statement with Trumpian flourish that it was a "tremendous honor" to headline the event "even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!"

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Minhaj's actual day job in fake news will help to highlight Trump's relationship with the press.

"I was looking for somebody who is funny and who is entertaining because I want the dinner to be entertaining," Mason explained, noting it was also important that the headliner not just roast Trump in absentia.

The goal at the so-called "nerdprom" is to remind the importance of a free press. Minhaj will be tasked with "talking about what is news, what is fake news. And he's involved in actual fake news as a Senior Correspondent for 'The Daily Show.' To be able to riff on that a little bit," Mason said.

Minhaj, a Muslim, has skewered some of the Trump administration's policies, especially the president's immigration executive order.

On a "Daily Show" episode after Trump's first executive order was signed, Minhaj told host Trevor Noah he flew into New York's John F. Kennedy Airport as travelers were being detained.

"I was scared that I wouldn't be allowed back in," he said.

"Being a Muslim in an airport sucks. But this weekend, it was like I was The Weeknd," Minhaj added, referencing the famous singer.

RELATED: Trump refuses to attend White House Correspondents' Dinner

Minhaj will now walk the thin line of making fun of presidents that comedians like Cecily Strong, Steven Colbert, and Jimmy Kimmel have roasted — but he'll do it without the president looking on from the dais next to him.

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