WASHINGTON (AP) – Late-night comic Jay Leno is the featured entertainer at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington.
WHCA President Ed Chen said the black-tie, nationally televised dinner to feature Leno – in the news lately for an ugly dispute with Conan O’Brien over NBC’s late-night lineup – is being held this year on May 1.
The dinner is traditionally attended every year by the president, who delivers a comic keynote that rivals – and sometimes surpasses – the hired entertainment.
O’Brien sealed a $45 million deal for himself and his staff this week to leave NBC and return Leno as host of “The Tonight Show.” O’Brien had replaced Leno as host less than a year ago.
The dinner attracts about 3,000 Washington elite and press as well as Hollywood celebrities. The association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the White House press corps and the presidents they cover. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.