Craig Ferguson, host of CBS’ The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, was tapped to perform at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.
Ferguson announced the appearance during his show Monday night, saying, “As soon as I became an American I thought, you know what is going to happen, I am going to get jury duty or the CIA is going to get in touch and get me to assassinate a foreign state or something like that. Something boring. Anyway, my first job as an American citizen, I can exclusively reveal tonight, is performing at the White House Correspondents' Dinner this year. I’m doing it! I’m not hosting, President Bush hosts it. There is a big fancy party in DC. It is like the Oscars for politicians where you cry and thank your agent."
White House press secretary Dana Perino confirmed that Ferguson would perform at the event at Tuesday morning’s press briefing. Ferguson, who passed his U.S. citizenship test last month, will be sworn in as a citizen in a few weeks.
“Craig Ferguson is a fresh take on late night TV," said White House Correspondents Association President Ann Compton in announcing the choice. "He is a new U.S. citizen, a first time uncommitted voter, and someone who has looked at American politics from the outside. I am looking forward to his unique take on our system."
A popular comedian is usually tasked with hosting the event, often making jabs at the president and the press corps. At the 2006 dinner, Stephen Colbert hosted in character, playing the conservative pundit alter-ego he normally plays on his show. The jokes he made were considered much more controversial than previous hosts, and the video of his appearance became a sensation online.
In 2007, comedian and impressionist Rich Little hosted the event. Little told The Washington Post: “One of the reasons why they picked me is because I'm not controversial … They did get some flak about the guy they had last year. I don't think they wanted someone political or controversial again.”
The 2008 White House Correspondents Association Dinner will be held April 26 in Washington, D.C.