Why Is Larry Wilmore Hosting The White House Correspondents’ Dinner? The Guy Knows How To Skewer
This year is full of lasts for the Obama White House. The last State of the Union, the last Easter egg hunt on the South Lawn, and now the last White House Correspondents' Dinner. While it's a last for the Obamas — both are expected to be in attendance — it's actually a first for the main man of the evening, Larry Wilmore. He'll be hosting this Saturday's Correspondents' Dinner, a fundraiser which pays for journalism scholarships and gives the correspondents an excuse to let their hair down with politicians and celebrities alike.
Carol Lee, the president of the White House Correspondents' Association (as well as the White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal), explained why the Comedy Central show host makes such a good choice:
Larry's edgy, even provocative, brand of humor means he's certainly up to the task of skewering politicians of all ideological stripes, and we don't expect the nation's news media to escape unscathed, either. We are thrilled that Larry has accepted our invitation to be the featured comedian at our annual dinner, which will be the last during the Obama White House.
Clearly, Wilmore's ability to roast politicians of all ideologies is part of his appeal. He told the hosts of CBS This Morning that while he's a big supporter of Obama, the president should still be on his toes. "Remember, I only supported him because he’s black. I can attack his positions all I want," Wilmore joked on air Monday.
Wilmore came to fame as a contributor on The Daily Show when John Stewart was still host. He now has his own show, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Much of his humor is centered around U.S. race relations, and you can expect more of that Saturday. In an interview also aired on CBS, he told Jim Alexrod why:
And people always say, 'Well, why you gotta talk about race? And bah, bah, bah.' Well, why not? I mean, it is one of the biggest issues of our day and of our times. I'll stop talking about race when people stop being racist.
The presidential campaign has a racial slant too, he said, despite all the white candidates. Wilmore calls it, "The Unblackening of the White House." In addition to his words on race, and jokes about Trump (because, Trump), Wilmore will also likely pick on whomever he sees as the "Top Dog":
I have this rule, it's called 'Top Dog-Underdog': Underdog gets to make fun of Top Dog, but Top Dog can't make fun of Underdog. But you know what? You get Top Dog, you get to be Top Dog. Congratulations! And that dynamic happens not just in race but in many different ways. It's like the male-female dynamic. But then Top Dog is always whining, 'How come I can't make fun of Underdog?' 'Because you're Top Dog, so stop it!'
Do you hear that, President Obama? I think Wilmore has his sights set on you. In fact, I know he does. It's a good thing the president will be laughing too.