New York [U.S.], Apr. 30 : The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj stole the show at the 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner, as he spared no mercy and took meaty bites out of President Donald Trump, who was missing from the event.
Trump is the first President to skip the dinner since Ronald Reagan opted to watch from home in 1981, while recovering from an assassination attempt.
"Welcome to the series finale of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. My name is Hasan Minhaj, or as I'll be known in a few weeks, number 830287," he began his act reducing everyone to tears right from the start.
Minhaj, who has vociferously criticized Trump on his Comedy Central show, continued tearing into the "liar-in-chief" during his witty monologue.
"We've got to address the elephant that's not in the room. The leader of our country is not here. And that's because he lives in Moscow. Historically the president usually performs at the WHCD, but I think I speak for all of us when I say, he's done far too much bombing this month," he joked.
"I would say it is an honor to be here but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one wanted to do this," he said. "So of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant." Minhaj added in a matter-of-fact tone evoking laughter from the room.
Talking about the President's continuous attack on the media accusing them of having lost the faith of the people, Minhaj called on the gathered press to dig their heels in and up their game.
"I don't have a solution on how to win back trust. But in the age of Trump I know that you guys have to be more perfect now more than ever. Because you are how the President gets his news. Not from advisors, experts, intelligence agencies you guys. So you gotta be on your A game. Because if one you messes up, he blames your entire group.so now you know what it feels like to be a minority," his last quip earning him a massive roar of guffaws from the crowd.
Trump became the first U.S. President to skip the event, as he addressed a crowd in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and mocked the White House Correspondents' Dinner saying, "there's another big gathering taking place tonight in Washington D.C.
Did you hear about it? A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now." Former U.S.
president Barack Obama was a popular choice at previous dinners as he managed to have a healthy relation with the press, graciously accepting their barbs and quips and giving it back in equal measure with his trademark witty manner.
However, Trump broke from tradition and opted to hold a rally instead to mark the completion of his his first 100 days.
"I could not be possibly more thrilled than to be a thousand miles away from [the] Washington swamp, spending my evening with you - a much much larger crowd and better people." Trump went on saying.
However, Trump's decision to not added the star-studded media event does not come as a surprise, given his recent stand on the American press.