It’s still a mystery what exactly this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner will look like without the president in attendance, but a key detail was revealed Tuesday when The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj was announced as this year’s host.
For the past few years, Minhaj has served as a correspondent on the Comedy Central show focusing on religious and Muslim issues, first under host Jon Stewart and then with Trevor Noah. The role has taken on even more relevance in the Trump era, given the president’s repeated attempts to pass immigration bans directed at majority-Muslim countries.
To get a sense of what Minhaj will bring to this year’s dinner, take a look at some of his best Daily Show clips from the past few years.
Minhaj’s Muslim makeover: In the waning weeks of Stewart’s run, he brought Minhaj on to discuss a story where an airline refused to give a Muslim woman complimentary soda on a plane. Minhaj satirically mocked the airline’s concerns over safety: “Anything on a plane is a weapon to a Muslim. A Dorito chip can slice a neck. You see a SkyMall? I see a paper cut katana.” He even donned a makeshift hijab to demonstrate how Muslims get treated differently.
Refugees and Trudeau: It’s almost a shame that President Trump will miss this year’s ceremony, because Minhaj already has experience dealing with celebrity politicians. Last May, he interviewed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his country’s acceptance of Syrian refugees.
Hasan the Record: President Trump’s first attempt at a Muslim ban led to massive nationwide airport protests. A lot happened in the heat of the moment (a federal judge stayed the ban before the first day of protest was even out), so during the next week, Minhaj systematically dissected the ban. He analyzed its components, whether it could be interpreted as constitutional, and how it came out of Obama Administration policies. He topped it off with a visit from the floating disembodied head of George Takei.
Minhaj released the following statement upon the announcement of his hosting duties: “It is a tremendous honor 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.”
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner will be held on April 29 at the Hilton in Washington, D.C.