The White House press corps announced Monday that it will ditch comedians altogether for next year’s White House Correspondents Dinner. Pulitzer-winning presidential biographer Ron Chernow will be the featured speaker at the April 27, 2019 gala—marking the first time in recent history that the position has not been filled by a comedian.
“As we celebrate the importance of a free and independent news media to the health of the republic, I look forward to hearing Ron place this unusual moment in the context of American history,” wrote Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. Chernow is famed for his biographies of Alexander Hamilton (which served as source material for the blockbuster Broadway show), George Washington, and John D. Rockefeller.
Chernow’s speech will come after several years worth of recent predecessors—comedians like Michelle Wolf and Hasan Minhaj— have drawn fire from conservative attendees for their provocative roasts. Wolf fired back at the White House Correspondent’s Association via Twitter Monday, writing that “The @whca are cowards. The media is complicit. And I couldn't be prouder.”