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White House Correspondents Dinner hosts from the year you were born

  • White House Correspondents Dinner hosts from the year you were born
    1/ Tasos Katopodis // Getty Images

    White House Correspondents Dinner hosts from the year you were born

    The annual White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) Dinner has about 2,600 attendees, and people from all over the world look to it as a rare chance to see the media, presidents, comedians, and Hollywood stars interact. Though the WHCA Dinner began in 1921 as a gathering of just 50 people, it wasn’t until 1944 that hosts were introduced. From the beginning, the dinner featured big names: Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra were among the first headliners. At that time, there weren’t single performers, but rather a collection of hosts who sang, danced, or put on skits between speeches. Though female singers such as Patti Page and the McGuire Sisters performed for the WHCA’s enjoyment, early dinners famously banned female writers. That changed in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy said he would boycott the event unless the invitation was open to women.

    In 1968, stand-up comedian Richard Pryor was the event’s sole host, setting the standard for future WHCA Dinners to come. By 1983, it became almost exclusively comedy-focused and has become known for featuring a roast of the president, their administration, and other political bigwigs. Particular comedians have come back time and time again, like Jay Leno, who has taken the stage four times. It’s a chance for comedians to air their grievances against the status quo and, sometimes, the jokes don’t over so well. When Stephen Colbert took the stage as his scathing right-wing parody character, the Bush administration was visibly upset, with several staffers even walking out. Michelle Wolf’s 2018 monologue about the Trump administration set social media ablaze with her cutting humor and sometimes crude language.

    Still, over the years, some of the presidents have been able to take a joke—and even make some at their own expense. In 1975 in the wake of the Watergate scandal, for example, President Gerald Ford said, “I do have one favor to ask of all the White House correspondents sitting here tonight. Every few years, we do have to paint the White House. It is done for reasons of maintenance, aesthetics, and appearance. So please, would you just refer to this as a paint job, not a cover-up?”

    Presidents have occasionally eschewed humor in favor of a more serious act—in 2003, in the wake of the Iraq invasion, Ray Charles performed. This year, which will be the third WHCA Dinner that Trump will not attend during his presidency, another unconventional speaker will be hosting—though you’ll have to read on to find out who.

    This list, which is compiled from Wikipedia data, will help you discover who hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner the year you were born. Don’t see your birth year? That’s no error: It may be because there were only 18 hosts between 1944 and 1985, with the dinner skipped several different years. However, from 1986 until now, there’s been a host every year. Read on to learn more ahead of this year's dinner April 27.

    You may also like: 50 famous White House visits

  • 1944
    2/ Keystone/Hulton Archive // Getty Images

    1944

    Hosts: Bob Hope, Fred Waring, Robert Merrill, Gracie Fields, Pedro Vargas, Elsie Janis, Fritz Kreisler, Ed Gardiner, Nan Merriman, and Frank Black

  • 1945
    3/ Hulton Archive // Getty Images

    1945

    Hosts: Frank Sinatra, Fanny Brice, Danny Thomas, Jimmy Durante, Danny Kaye, and Garry Moore

  • 1953
    4/ Ray Lee Jackson/NBC Television/Hulton Archive // Getty Images

    1953

    Host: Bob Hope

  • 1954
    5/ Ingeborg Talliarek/Keystone/Hulton Archive // Getty Images

    1954

    Hosts: Milton Berle, Jaye P. Morgan, The Four Step Brothers, Irving Berlin, and The McGuire Sisters

  • 1956
    6/ Fox Photos // Getty Images

    1956

    Hosts: James Cagney, Nat King Cole, Patti Page, and Dizzy Gillespie

  • 1961
    7/ George Stroud/Express/Hulton Archive // Getty Images

    1961

    Hosts: Mischa Elman, Julie London, The Peiro Brothers, Dorothy Provine, and Jerome Hines

  • 1962
    8/ Express/Express // Getty Images

    1962

    Hosts: Peter Sellers, Gwen Verdon, and Richard and Benny Goodman

  • 1963
    9/ Al Ravenna/World Telegram // Wikimedia Commons

    1963

    Hosts: Barbra Streisand, Merv Griffin

  • 1964
    10/ Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

    1964

    Hosts: Duke Ellington, The Smothers Brothers

  • 1968
    11/ Berk Costello/General Artists Corporation // Wikimedia Commons

    1968

    Host: Richard Pryor

  • 1969
    12/ SolarSurfer // Wikimedia Commons

    1969

    Host: The Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Revue

  • 1970
    13/ Ken Howard // Getty Images

    1970

    Host: George Carlin

  • 1975
    14/ CBS Television // Wikimedia Commons

    1975

    Hosts: Danny and Marlo Thomas

  • 1976
    15/ University of Michigan // Wikimedia Commons

    1976

    Hosts: Bob Hope, Chevy Chase

  • 1983
    16/ Christopher Ruppel // Getty Images

    1983

    Host: Mark Russell

  • 1984
    17/ JIM WATSON/AFP // Getty Images

    1984

    Host: Rich Little

  • 1986
    18/ Christopher Peterson // Wikimedia Commons

    1986

    Host: Dick Cavett

  • 1987
    19/ Mike Windle // Getty Images

    1987

    Host: Jay Leno

  • 1988
    20/ Michael Tullberg // Getty Images

    1988

    Host: Yakov Smirnoff

  • 1989
    21/ YouTube

    1989

    Host: Jim Morris

  • 1990
    22/ YouTube

    1990

    Host: Jim Morris

  • 1991
    23/ Mike Windle // Getty Images

    1991

    Host: Sinbad

  • 1992
    24/ Imeh Akpanudosen // Getty Images

    1992

    Host: Paula Poundstone

  • 1993
    25/ Getty Images

    1993

    Host: Elayne Boosler

  • 1994
    26/ Evan Agostini // Getty Images

    1994

    Host: Al Franken

  • 1995
    27/ BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP // Getty Images

    1995

    Host: Conan O'Brien

  • 1996
    28/ SAUL LOEB/AFP // Getty Images

    1996

    Host: Al Franken

  • 1997
    29/ Ethan Miller // Getty Images

    1997

    Host: Jon Stewart

  • 1998
    30/ Brandon Williams // Getty Images

    1998

    Host: Ray Romano

  • 1999
    31/ Noam Galai // Getty Images

    1999

    Host: Aretha Franklin

  • 2000
    32/ Tasos Katopodis // Getty Images

    2000

    Host: Jay Leno

  • 2001
    33/ MANNY CENETA/AFP // Getty Images

    2001

    Host: Darrell Hammond

  • 2002
    34/ PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP // Getty Images

    2002

    Host: Drew Carey

  • 2003
    35/ Kevin Winter // Getty Images

    2003

    Host: Ray Charles

  • 2004
    36/ NICHOLAS ROBERTS/AFP // Getty Images

    2004

    Host: Jay Leno

  • 2005
    37/ JIM WATSON/AFP // Getty Images

    2005

    Host: Cedric the Entertainer

  • 2006
    38/ Roger L. Wollenberg // Getty Images

    2006

    Host: Stephen Colbert

  • 2007
    39/ JIM WATSON/AFP // Getty Images

    2007

    Host: Rich Little

  • 2008
    40/ Kristoffer Tripplaar // Getty Images

    2008

    Host: Craig Ferguson

  • 2009
    41/ MANDEL NGAN/AFP // Getty Images

    2009

    Host: Wanda Sykes

  • 2010
    42/ YURI GRIPAS/AFP // Getty Images

    2010

    Host: Jay Leno

  • 2011
    43/ Martin H. Simon // Getty Images

    2011

    Host: Seth Meyers

  • 2012
    44/ Kristoffer Tripplaar // Getty Images

    2012

    Host: Jimmy Kimmel

  • 2013
    45/ Pete Marovich // Getty Images

    2013

    Host: Conan O'Brien

  • 2014
    46/ Olivier Douliery // Getty Images

    2014

    Host: Joel McHale

  • 2015
    47/ Pool // Getty Images

    2015

    Host: Cecily Strong

  • 2016
    48/ Olivier Douliery // Getty Images

    2016

    Host: Larry Wilmore

  • 2017
    49/ Tasos Katopodis // Getty Images

    2017

    Host: Hasan Minhaj

  • 2018
    50/ Tasos Katopodis // Getty Images

    2018

    Host: Michelle Wolf

  • 2019
    51/ Leigh Vogel // Getty Images

    2019

    Host: Ron Chernow

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