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White House Correspondents Dinner hosts from the year you were born

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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

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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

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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

1945

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

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Ray Lee Jackson/NBC Television/Hulton Archive // Getty Images

1953

Host: Bob Hope

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Ingeborg Talliarek/Keystone/Hulton Archive // Getty Images

1954

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

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Fox Photos // Getty Images

1956

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

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George Stroud/Express/Hulton Archive // Getty Images

1961

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

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Express/Express // Getty Images

1962

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

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Al Ravenna/World Telegram // Wikimedia Commons

1963

Hosts: Barbra Streisand, Merv Griffin

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Amanda Edwards // Getty Images

1964

Hosts: Duke Ellington, The Smothers Brothers

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Berk Costello/General Artists Corporation // Wikimedia Commons

1968

Host: Richard Pryor

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SolarSurfer // Wikimedia Commons

1969

Host: The Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Revue

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Ken Howard // Getty Images

1970

Host: George Carlin

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CBS Television // Wikimedia Commons

1975

Hosts: Danny and Marlo Thomas

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University of Michigan // Wikimedia Commons

1976

Hosts: Bob Hope, Chevy Chase

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Christopher Ruppel // Getty Images

1983

Host: Mark Russell

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JIM WATSON/AFP // Getty Images

1984

Host: Rich Little

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Christopher Peterson // Wikimedia Commons

1986

Host: Dick Cavett

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Mike Windle // Getty Images

1987

Host: Jay Leno

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Michael Tullberg // Getty Images

1988

Host: Yakov Smirnoff

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YouTube

1989

Host: Jim Morris

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YouTube

1990

Host: Jim Morris

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Mike Windle // Getty Images

1991

Host: Sinbad

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Imeh Akpanudosen // Getty Images

1992

Host: Paula Poundstone

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Getty Images

1993

Host: Elayne Boosler

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Evan Agostini // Getty Images

1994

Host: Al Franken

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP // Getty Images

1995

Host: Conan O'Brien

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SAUL LOEB/AFP // Getty Images

1996

Host: Al Franken

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Ethan Miller // Getty Images

1997

Host: Jon Stewart

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Brandon Williams // Getty Images

1998

Host: Ray Romano

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Noam Galai // Getty Images

1999

Host: Aretha Franklin

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Tasos Katopodis // Getty Images

2000

Host: Jay Leno

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MANNY CENETA/AFP // Getty Images

2001

Host: Darrell Hammond

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PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP // Getty Images

2002

Host: Drew Carey

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Kevin Winter // Getty Images

2003

Host: Ray Charles

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NICHOLAS ROBERTS/AFP // Getty Images

2004

Host: Jay Leno

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JIM WATSON/AFP // Getty Images

2005

Host: Cedric the Entertainer

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Roger L. Wollenberg // Getty Images

2006

Host: Stephen Colbert

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JIM WATSON/AFP // Getty Images

2007

Host: Rich Little

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Kristoffer Tripplaar // Getty Images

2008

Host: Craig Ferguson

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MANDEL NGAN/AFP // Getty Images

2009

Host: Wanda Sykes

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YURI GRIPAS/AFP // Getty Images

2010

Host: Jay Leno

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Martin H. Simon // Getty Images

2011

Host: Seth Meyers

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Kristoffer Tripplaar // Getty Images

2012

Host: Jimmy Kimmel

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Pete Marovich // Getty Images

2013

Host: Conan O'Brien

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Olivier Douliery // Getty Images

2014

Host: Joel McHale

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Pool // Getty Images

2015

Host: Cecily Strong

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Olivier Douliery // Getty Images

2016

Host: Larry Wilmore

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Tasos Katopodis // Getty Images

2017

Host: Hasan Minhaj

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Tasos Katopodis // Getty Images

2018

Host: Michelle Wolf

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Leigh Vogel // Getty Images

2019

Host: Ron Chernow

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