On Saturday, April 28, members of the media — and some politicians, too — will gather for an annual dinner intended to celebrate freedom of speech. It's a headline-making affair, and if you're wondering who is hosting the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD), look no further than Michelle Wolf, a contributor for The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.
"I'm delighted to announce 'Nice Lady' Michelle Wolf as our featured entertainer this year," said Margaret Talev, president of the WHCA, in a statement in February. She continued:
Our dinner honors the First Amendment and strong, independent journalism. Her embrace of these values and her truth-to-power style make her a great friend to the WHCA. Her Pennsylvania roots, stints on Wall Street and in science and self-made, feminist edge make her the right voice now.
Traditionally, the president and his wife attend the event; however, that is not the case this year. (It also wasn't the case last year.) In a separate statement, Talev said that Trump would send White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in his place. Talev also said Trump would be encouraging other members of the executive branch to attend the event.
In any event, Wolf has said that's she's completely fine with Trump's decision to stay home. In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wolf said she was relieved when she first heard the news. "The first thing I thought when I heard that he wasn't going, because you sit on a dais ... and you eat dinner — and the first thing I thought was 'oh, thank god, I don't have to hear Trump eat.'"
That wasn't all, though. She continued, "You know he doesn't chew with his mouth closed. He's probably like, a real smack-y eater and a mouth breather at the same time."
She also told Kimmel that she plans to use the jokes she had written before she found out the president would be absent. And if previous WHCA dinners are any indication, that will likely mean some serious presidential roasts.
Wolf isn't new to roasting Trump, however. She was one of the first comedians to tear into the 45th president shortly after his election. On the Daily Show, she eviscerated not only Trump, but those who voted for him — especially women:
We've always known that there are some men that are against women. What f*cking blew my mind in this election was that 42 percent of women voted for Trump... I mean look, I get if you don't agree with Hillary's policies, or if you're really for some g*ddamn reason hung up on her emails. But you went with Trump, the guy who says women who get abortions should be punished; who walks in on teen beauty queens changing; who would grab a pussy. That guy! You thought that guy was better for you than Hillary.
Wolf is known for more than being a correspondent on late-night comedy shows, however — soon, she will host her own show. Beginning in May, Wolf will star in a new weekly Netflix series, to be called The Break With Michelle Wolf. The series launches on May 27, according to a press release. Separately, Wolf was also recently featured in an HBO standup special entitled Nice Lady.
Historically, the WHCA dinner is an opportunity for the president and the press to take a step back from what is generally a mutually tense relationship. Instead of being grilled with questions, each side pokes fun at each other, dragging each other all in the name of good fun.
In a now-iconic 2011 WHCA speech, for example, President Obama announced he would be revealing a video of his birth — he streamed a clip from Disney's The Lion King. While this year's WHCA dinner won't feature the current president, he will, almost undoubtedly, be the center of attention.