John Oliver Has A History With The WHCD
The annual White House Correspondents' Dinner is the one time each year when political journalists, celebrities, politicians, and even reality TV stars come together for a night. The "Nerd Prom" has been hosted by comedians in the past, like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. This year, Comedy Central's Larry Wilmore is hosting the coveted event, which will surely include jabs at Donald Trump. Although the event attracts a diverse crowd, will John Oliver attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner? The hilarious host of HBO's Last Week Tonight should be, but it's unclear whether he will attend on April 30.
If Oliver hosted the WHCD, it would surely be a night filled with side-splitting jokes and inappropriate remarks about the state of the current presidential election. However, since he's not hosting, it's not certain whether he will even attend the event. In 2014, Oliver roasted the WHCD, calling it out for being "even worse than it sounds." Oliver argued that the event is the one night a year when "journalists celebrate their independence by hanging out with their sources and celebrate their importance by utterly ignoring one another in favor of Hollywood stars."
Although Oliver shared a comedy connection with WHCD host Wilmore, his clear disdain for the event make it seem like he won't be attending this year.
Even though it's affectionately labeled "Nerd Prom," the WHCD does present a conflict of interest for many of the reporters and politicians. Rather than maintaining a professional relationship and not being friendly with one another, at the WHCD, all parties mingle and often take photos together.
In the past, Oliver has complained about the ethics of reporters mixing with their sources, even at highly-anticipated events like the WHCD. In 2014, Oliver talked to NPR's Fresh Air about maintaining a professional relationship at work, which is something he said he does with his HBO employees.
The event brings together cabinet officials, reporters from all publications, and Hollywood stars. In addition to the ethical conundrum that these journalists face when mixing with their sources, Variety wrote that the event is now heavily focused on bringing in comedians:
It is still an opportunity for correspondents to mix with their sources, but it started to draw a significant contingent from entertainment during the years of the Clinton presidency, as media outlets tried to outdo each other with big-name guests.
Because many great comedians have hosted the WHCD, it would only make sense for Oliver — one of the funniest late-night show hosts right now — to attend the event. In 2011, Seth Meyers destroyed Donald Trump as the comedic host for that year's WHCD. If roasting Trump is any indication of who should attend the dinner, Oliver's "Donald Drumpf" skit surely puts him on the event's A-list.
Even if Oliver doesn't attend the WHCD, he will likely have a hilarious segment on his May 1 episode immediately after the event. And that might just make up for not having the comedian make a cameo during the Nerd Prom.