Washington, Apr 11 (PTI) Popular Indian-American stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj would be the main entertainer at the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association, which for the first time in decades would be skipped by a US President.
Minhaj, whose parents come from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, will serve as the entertainer at the event.
“I am thrilled that Hasan will serve as our featured entertainer at this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, said Jeff Mason, the president of the White House Correspondents Association.
“Hasan’s smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media,” Mason said.
US President Donald Trump, in February, had announced that he would skip the glitzy annual dinner.
The last president to miss the dinner was Ronald Reagan, who sat out because he was he recovering from an assassination attempt in 1981, although he still delivered remarks by phone.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which US presidents have attended for decades, supports the work of the WHCA.
Proceeds fund the organisation and go toward scholarships and awards aimed at promoting aspiring journalists and recognising excellence in the journalism profession.
“It is a tremendous honour to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD! Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” said Minhaj.
This is for the first time that an Indian-American has been invited to be the main entertainer for the most prestigious annual event in Washington DC.
Minhaj, 31, was born in Davis California, where his parents migrated from India.
But his mother spent the first eight years of his life away from him, in India, completing medical school.
He is married to Beena Minhaj, whom he met in college.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.