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Samantha Bee Is Going to Roast Trump at the 'Not White House Correspondents' Dinner'

The 'Full Frontal' star plans to offer an alternative to the traditional event and will donate all the proceeds to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Turner

The White House Correspondents' Dinner is sort of like the Oscars of DC. The event, which started as a way to foster relationships between the press and members of the president's administration, usually features a comedian host that tries their best to make topical jokes without coming across like a total jerk. This year, however, there might not be a dinner, due to Trump's "running war" with the media and his inability to laugh at himself.


To make sure that Trump does get the roasting he deserves, comedian Samantha Bee announced Monday that she will host an alternative to the traditional event, which she's calling the "Not White House Correspondents' Dinner." It's set to feature performances from various comedians and will take place at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, on April 29, the same night and just a few miles away from where the actual event is scheduled to take place.

"Samantha Bee, noted purveyor of FAKE NEWS™, will host the gala affair, welcoming journalists and non-irritating celebrities from around the world," TBS said in a press release Monday. "We suspect some members of the press may find themselves unexpectedly free that night, and we want to feed them and give them hugs."

In recent years, the White House Correspondents' Dinner has evolved into a star-studded affair and has been criticized by media figures like Tom Brokaw for blurring the ethical line between the president and the journalists tasked with covering him objectively. After a scathing column by Frank Rich in 2007, the New York Times stopped sending its reporters to the dinner.

The Full Frontal with Samantha Bee host told the New York TimesTrump's bête noire—that she wanted to bring like-minded comics together in case the decades-old event doesn't happen this year. It's not clear which reporters will attend, or who will perform, but Bee plans to donate all the proceeds from the night to the Committee to Protect Journalists. It will also air on TBS sometime after the taping.

"The evening is sure to bring plenty of surprises, music, food and laughter—and if you're not careful you just might learn something," Bee said in the statement. "Specifically, you'll learn how screwed we'd be without a free press."

While the comedians tasked with hosting the event lightly rib the president and members of his administration, they've gotten more critical over the last few years, like when Stephen Colbert made President George W. Bush visibly uncomfortable when he served as host in 2006. It's almost certain that Bee will make Trump uncomfortable with her jokes on the night of the Not Correspondents' Dinner, though he likely won't be in attendance.