“A lot of people told me, ‘Hasan, if you go after the administration it would be petty, unfair, and childish.’ In other words, presidential,” quipped Hasan Minhaj, host of the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show didn’t hold back during his performance last evening.
“I would say it is an honor to be here but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one wanted to do this. So of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant,” he joked. “Don Rickles died just so you wouldn’t ask him to do this gig.”
Donald Trump’s absence at the dinner is the first since President Reagan ditched the event in 1981. Of course, Reagan had a good excuse—his assassination attempt. Minhaj almost immediately addressed Trump’s decision to stay away in his segment. “We gotta address the elephant that’s not in the room,” he joked. “The leader of our country isn’t here. And that’s because he lives in Moscow. It’s a very long flight. . . . As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania, because he can’t take a joke.”
And the Trump gags kept coming: “A lot of people in the media say Donald Trump goes golfing too much. . . . Do you want to know what he’s not doing when he’s golfing? Being president. Let the man put-put. . . . The longer you keep him distracted, the longer we’re not at war with North Korea. Every time Donald Trump goes golfing, the headline should read, ‘Trump Goes Golfing. Apocalypse Delayed.'”
But the media wasn’t free from roasting. “USA Today happens when the coupon section takes over the newspaper,” Minhaj told a gasping audience.
Watch Minhaj’s full performance, below.