The White House Correspondents Association has picked Jay Leno — also known as this week’s most publicly unpopular stand-up comic — to headline the White House Correspondents Dinner in May.
An NBC rep confirmed the invitation to The TV Column.
To be clear, the association asked Leno weeks ago — when he was simply the host of a prime-time show that was failing five nights a week. But when he appears at the annual Washington bash — which over the past few years has become a Hollywood petting zoo — Leno will be the guy who pushed aside Conan O’Brien to become the newly returned host of NBC’s “Tonight” show. He has also been the butt of pretty much every other late-night talk-show host’s jokes for the past couple of weeks.
Splendid visual, don’t you think? President Obama sharing a stage with the comedic embodiment of big corporations screwing the little guy. (Yes, in this context Conan O’Brien is the little guy, forty million dollar severance package or not.)
Of course, the WHCD is an obscenity to begin with. If you are not familiar with it you should be picturing the final scene of Animal Farm, the one where the other animals can no longer tell the difference between the pigs and the humans. The picture of supposed journalists yukking it up with the politicians they are supposed to be covering is not very pleasant.