Joel McHale To Host White House Correspondents' Dinner

The White House Correspondents' Association has tapped Joel McHale, host of E!'s "The Soup" and "Community" actor, to host the annual dinner.

Joel McHale To Host White House Correspondents' Dinner
Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore

The White House Correspondents' Association — which turns 100 years old this year — is hosting its annual dinner on May 3, inviting politicians, journalists, and celebrities to rub shoulders for an evening of journalism awards, glamor, and laughs. So, who did the organization tap to host their big centennial?

 "Here's the host who's watching it all for you: Joel McHale!" 

Yep, it's Joel McHale, longtime host of E! pop culture satire show "The Soup." McHale is also well known for his role as Jeff Winger in NBC's college comedy "Community."

As host, McHale will inherit the entertainer's hallowed privilege of roasting the President, Congress, and the media right to their faces. Previous hosts have consisted mostly of late night comedians like Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno, and Stephen Colbert. (Via C-SPAN)

WHCA president Steven Thomma said in a statement McHale will be a perfect fit to host the dinner. "He's sharp, funny, and just the type of comic who can navigate the unique challenge of our dinner, making fun of Democrats, Republicans and especially the news media. Washington can use a little good-natured ribbing."

And McHale himself welcomed the news by testing out some of his material on Twitter. Maybe make sure there's a safe distance between you and Secretary Sebelius when you drop that line, McHale.

Now, MediaBistro notes the Correspondents' Dinner isn't an easy gig; McHale faces the difficult task of keeping the satire edgy without crossing the line.

"In the best case scenario, the WHCA Dinner is an opportunity for a performer to use comedy to speak truth to power. But it’s not easy. Wanda Sykes might be a good example of a comedian who went too far, while Ray Romano or Darrel Hammond, for example, played it safe.​ ... With the Correspondents Dinner having morphed into a huge media spectacle, a good performance can cement a comedian’s reputation as one of the greats. And a flop can be hard to live down."

But a Bustle writer isn't worried, saying McHale's experience with skewering pop culture should come in handy during the dinner. "As anyone who’s watched The Soup knows, McHale delivers hilarious comments with an impossibly straight face and a level of snark that puts the other hosts to shame. President Obama might not even realize when McHale is mocking him."

President Obama and the First Lady are expected to be in attendence at this year's dinner. All proceeds go towards scholarships and awards for journalists.