Roy Wood Jr. to Host White House Correspondent’s Dinner Because ‘Daily Show’ Veterans Work D.C. Better Than Anyone
Earlier today, the White House Correspondents’ Association officially announced that Wood will perform the hosting duties last held by his former boss Noah at this year’s White House Correspondents’ dinner, where the Washington D.C. elite will gather to poke fun at themselves and the media under Wood’s supervision on April 29th. The Master of Ceremonies at the dinner is a prestigious role that has historically been the provenance of other Daily Show alumni — Stephen Colbert, Michelle Wolf and Larry Wilmore have all made their mark hosting the illustrious event, and it only feels appropriate that another political satirist of The Daily Show continues the tradition of speaking truth to power with the most cutting comedy ever to be delivered directly to the president’s face.
The last time a non-Daily Show comedian had a genuinely memorable performance hosting the Correspondents’ Dinner, Seth Meyers goaded Donald Trump into running for president. That’s reason enough for The Daily Show to continue its dominance.
The race for the Daily Show head job has been a competitive one — Leslie Jones has made a positive impression in her guest host gig, and Wood and the other past-and-present Daily Show correspondents still have to wait for the likes of Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman and Al Franken to audition before they’ll get their time in the top chair. And so, the White House Correspondents’ dinner will be a prime opportunity for Woods to prove that he has the passion and the cutting wit to be the frontrunner for the Daily Show hosting job. After all, the job of both the Daily Show contributors and the host of the Correspondents’ dinner is the same — to hold authority accountable by using incisive satire as a powerful weapon and a compelling crowd-pleaser.
In 2006, Colbert, just a few years into his reign as the most powerful parodist of conservative media with The Colbert Report, delivered a controversial and scathing indictment of the George W. Bush administration and his paltry 32 percent approval rating as America’s disastrous invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan dragged long past the point where an end seemed feasibly nigh. Colbert mocked the president and his lackeys for their hostility toward the media’s coverage of their failing neo-conservative agenda, sarcastically telling the present press, “You write, ‘Oh, they’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.’ First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!”
Wolf’s 2018 performance sticks out as another of the best in recent memory as, in the second consecutive year that President Trump made the unprecedented and cowardly decision to skip the event, Wolf lamented that she couldn’t drag the president away from the golf course in order to fulfill his duty at the dinner while she called him “the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab.”
All of which is to say that while comedians like Conan O‘Brien, Cecily Strong and Craig Ferguson have all made respectable attempts, the job of hosting the White House Correspondents‘ Dinner is a responsibility that can only truly be entrusted onto Daily Show veterans who already understand the delicate balancing act of creating comedy sharp enough to cut through the egos of the elite while generating enough genuine laughter to make the point truly land.