Samantha Bee to Host Counter-event on Same Night as Donald Trump's First Correspondents' Dinner
Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the nonprofit Meryl Streep advocated for during her Golden Globes speech
The 47-year-old comedian and host of Full Frontal will host a counter-event to the annual dinner appropriately called “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” on April 29 — the same night as the White House event, The New York Times reported Monday.
Set to take place at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., Bee told the newspaper that she and other comedians will spend the evening lampooning the 45th president.
“We’re not trying to supersede [the White House Correspondents’ Dinner],” Bee told the Times. “We just want to be there in case something happens — or doesn’t happen — and ensure that we get to properly roast the president.”
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which is put on by the White House Correspondents Association, usually features the president cracking jokes in front of the crowd — and some roasting by a comedian tasked with hosting the event. This year’s event is sure to be a bit awkward, given Trump’s hostile relationship with the media, continuing mass protests against his administration and high disapproval ratings.
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The idea for “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” came soon after Trump’s election in November, Bee said.
“We were talking out loud about whether we thought the White House Correspondents’ dinner would change during a Trump presidency, or if it would even exist,” she explained. “And then we thought, ‘Why don’t we just do one, just to do it in the way that we would want it done if we were hosting it?’”
Proceeds from Bee’s alternative event will be donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists — the same nonprofit organization that Meryl Streep encouraged donations for during her Golden Globes acceptance speech this year.
Bee said the celebrity lineup and airing of the event are still being worked out.
“The evening is sure to bring plenty of surprises, music, food, and laughter—and if you’re not careful you just might learn something,” said Bee. “Specifically, you’ll learn how screwed we’d be without a free press.”