The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner both celebrates the White House press corps and famously features a dinner speaker, usually a comedian who roasts the current administration. In light of the Trump administration’s recent actions, “Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee has announced the first “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” which will take place at the exact same time as the official dinner on Saturday, April 29. Bee will host the event at The Willard Hotel in Washington D.C. and will welcome journalists and “non-irritating celebrities” from around the world.
“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 in a statement. “Specifically, you’ll learn how screwed we’d be without a free press.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Bee said that the inspiration for the event came about when she and “Full Frontal” producers were wondering aloud if there would even be a Correspondents’ Dinner this year, especially given the administration’s open hostility towards the press. They collectively decided to do one anyway without the endorsement of the White House. “We’re not trying to supersede it,” she said. “We just want to be there in case something happens — or doesn’t happen — and ensure that we get to properly roast the president.”
All proceeds for “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The Times reports that the event “will probably be shown on TBS in some form” but that “those details were still being worked out, as was a lineup of talent.”
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” airs Wednesday nights at 10:30 p.m. ET on TBS.