On April 29, Indian-American Muslim comedian Hasan Minhaj headlined the annual White House Correspondents' Association (WHCD) dinner, and he definitely rose to the occasion.
Commonly known for his role as a correspondent on The Daily Show, Minhaj hilariously poked fun at U.S. President Donald Trump, his administration, as well as the media.
Minhaj thus became the first Muslim and first South Asian American to ever host the dinner, joining the list of comedians who have hosted the WHCD, which includes names such as Jimmy Kimmel and Jon Stewart.
Hosted by the organization that represents journalists who cover the White House and the president, the annual dinner celebrates freedom of the press and the First Amendment.
The dinner usually features a light-hearted speech in which the president mocks the media and himself, before a comedian takes the stage to do his share of roasting.
But this year's dinner interrupted the long-held tradition.
The president and his staff were absent from the event, due to their hostile relationship with the press. This makes Trump the first president to skip the dinner since Ronald Reagan in 1981, who had been recovering from an assassination attempt.
Instead, Trump scheduled a rally in Pennsylvania where he lashed out on the media, including prominent new outlets such as CNN and The New York Times.
"There’s a large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now,” Trump said at the rally. “I could not possibly be more thrilled to be more than 100 miles away from the Washington swamp, spending my evening with all of you and a much, much larger crowd and much better people."
So, Minhaj took center stage at the Hilton in Washington on Saturday, giving a speech that, apart from being absolutely hilarious, highlighted the struggles the press has been facing during Trump's tenure.
Here are 8 of the funniest remarks Minhaj made in his speech:
1. "I would say it is an honor to be here, but that would be an alternative fact."
"No one wanted to do this. So, of course, it lands in the hand of an immigrant. That’s how it always goes down. No one wanted this gig. No one."
Later in the speech, Minhaj said, "I feel like I am a tribute in the Hunger Games. Like, if this goes poorly, Steve Bannon gets to eat me."
2. "As a Muslim, I like to watch Fox News for the same reason I like to play ‘Call of Duty.’ Sometimes, I like to turn my brain off and watch strangers insult my family and my heritage."
3. "The leader of our country is not here. And that’s because he lives in Moscow."
"It is a very long flight. It’d be hard for Vlad [Russian President Vladimir Putin] to make it. Vlad can’t just make it on a Saturday. It’s a Saturday. As for the other guy, I think he’s in Pennsylvania because he can't take a joke."
4. "I get why Donald Trump didn’t want to be roasted tonight. By the looks of him, he has been roasting nonstop for the past 70 years."
5. "Historically the president usually performs at the correspondents’ dinner, but I think I speak for all of us when I say he’s done far too much bombing this month."
6. "Every time he goes golfing, the headline should read: Trump golfing, Apocalypse delayed."
When talking about media outlets that reproach Trump for golfing too much, Minhaj said, "Why do you care? Do you want to know what he is not doing when he’s golfing? Being president. Let the man putt-putt. Keep him distracted."
7. "Who is tweeting at 3 a.m. sober? Donald Trump. Because it’s 10 a.m. in Russia."
"You know that Donald Trump doesn’t drink - does not touch alcohol. Which is oddly respectable. But think about that. That means every statement, every interview, every tweet - completely sober. How is that possible?"
8. "You [journalists] are his biggest enemy. Journalists, ISIS, normal-length ties."
"It is 2017, and we are living in the golden age of lying. Now is the time to be a liar, and Donald Trump is liar in chief. And remember you guys are public enemy Number 1. And somehow, you’re the bad guys."
Jokes aside, Minhaj pointed out some important truths
When addressing journalists covering the White House, Minhaj compared them to minorities such as himself. He said, "You can’t make any mistakes. Because when one of you messes up, he [Trump] blames your entire group. And now you know what it feels like to be a minority."
He went on to explain that people expect every individual belonging to a minority group to be "a mouthpiece for the entire group".
"And then, when you actually manage to do great work, you get hit with the most condescending line in the English language: 'Hey, you’re actually one of the good ones'."
Minhaj also commended free speech in the U.S., saying, "Only in America can a first-generation, Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president. The orange man behind the Muslim ban.
"It’s this amazing tradition that shows the entire world that even the president is not beyond the reach of the First Amendment."
Here is Minhaj's full 25-minute speech. Trust us, it's worth every second!
As President of White House Corespondents Association Jeff Mason had hoped, Minhaj successfully stroke a balance between entertaining people with political jokes and celebrating the first amendment and journalism.
This definitely was not the first time the Muslim comedian addresses Trump's policies with tongue-in-cheek humor, as Minhaj has previously passed jokes criticizing Trump's policies and Islamophobic rhetoric.
When speaking on Trump's statement on "keeping Muslims out of America," Minhaj turned the statement around in a segment with Trevor Noah in 2015.
"Muslims are in danger. One-third of a major political party in America is backing a racist maniac. This place is scary right now. And that's why Trump said we can't have any Muslims enter the US," Minhaj had said at the time.
New York-based comedian, actor, and writer Hasan Minhaj is currently a senior correspondent at the news satire talk show The Daily Show. His comedy special Homecoming King, which revolves around Minhaj's experience growing up as a first-generation immigrant, is set to premiere on Netflix on May 23.