Humor can sometimes be hard for politicians to pull off. The risk of a joke gone awry is amplified even more so for those front and center in a hot election year like the one we're currently watching unfold. Yet there's one time each year when it's acceptable, encouraged even, for politicians to say "the gloves are off" with a comedic roast of each other, themselves, and the press. Once described as a "media-celebrity mosh pit," the annual collision of journalists, politicians, and Hollywood stars makes for damn good television. But how can you watch the White House Correspondents' dinner if you don't have cable?
What began in 1921 with just 50 White House reporters now includes the president doing stand-up and roughly 2,600 guests. The last "Nerd Prom," as the annual gala is commonly called, of President Barack Obama's presidency will commence Saturday with CSPAN covering the event in its entirety, beginning with guests' arrivals to the Washington Hilton ballroom at 6 p.m. ET. In previous years, the hilarious dinner has also been aired on CNN and MSNBC; however, there's been no confirmation that those networks will air or live stream the event again this year.
For those who don't have cable, fear not! The event will be streamed on CSPAN's website, c-span.org. It's unclear if WhiteHouse.gov, which has live streamed the event in the past, will do so this year. But there's still one more option for tuning in to the night's wittiest moments — such as President Obama's speech, which is likely to be a particularly entertaining highlight of the evening, as in previous years.
For those looking to watch Washington's Nerd Prom unfold live and who also find themselves eager to gain access to a wealth of cable channels, the streaming media player Roku might be a good investment. A Roku Streaming Stick costs $49.99 and enables users to catch CSPAN, and the White House Correspondents' Dinner, through the private channel Roku Newscaster. You can also follow the night's most amusing moments with Bustle.
This year's guest list is packed with a few surprises. All eyes will be on Sen. Bernie Sanders to see if the Democratic presidential candidate will don a (borrowed?) tux for the evening as a guest of CBS News. Current Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who's been the butt of a few jokes in previous years due to his central role in the birther conspiracy theories that hounded Obama's early presidency, has said he won't be attending this year's event. It's not that he wasn't invited; it's that he doesn't think the press will be fair. "I would have a good time and the press would say I look like I wasn't having a good time," he recently told the Hill. To his credit, he's probably not wrong.
Larry Wilmore, host of Comedy Central's The Nightly Show, will serve as this year's featured comedian.