'The Daily Show' 's Roy Wood Jr. to Headline White House Correspondents' Dinner

"It will be a great night that will go down in the history books, or not, depending on which state you live in," the comedian joked in a release announcing the event

Roy Wood Jr.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty

Daily Show correspondent and podcast host Roy Wood Jr. will host the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner on April 29, the organization announced Thursday.

According to a release, the comedian — whose standup special Imperfect Messenger is now streaming on Paramount+ — studied broadcast journalism at Florida A&M University in the late 1990s, and has a special passion for news.

His late father, Roy Wood Sr., was a radio and television journalist who covered landmark moments including the U.S. Civil Rights movement and the Rhodesia/Zimbabwe civil war, and was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

"It's an honor to be a part of a long-running tradition of celebrating those members of the media, who work so hard to uncover the truth, and hold our government accountable," Wood Jr., 44, said in the WHCA release. "It will be a great night that will go down in the history books, or not, depending on which state you live in."

Last year's dinner was hosted by former Daily Show host Trevor Noah and marked a return to star-power for the gathering that had avoided entertainers in the wake of comedian Michelle Wolf's turn as host in 2018, which some critics argued went too far in mocking then President Donald Trump's cabinet.

The annual correspondent's dinner traces back to 1921 and has historically been attended by members of the association as well as high-ranking government officials including the president and first lady.

Under Trump, however, that tradition changed.

During the first three years of his term, Trump snubbed the gathering, telling reporters in 2019 that it was "too negative."

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His White House also began avoiding the event after Wolf's turn as emcee in 2018. Like comedians before her, she bluntly mocked several D.C. players including former Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The 2020 and 2021 WHCA events were canceled, meanwhile, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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