POSTED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 7:55am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 12:07pm
It's the biggest dinner inside the Beltway, and one of the biggest questions surrounding the annual White House Correspondents Dinner is which entertainer will headline the event.
The answer for this year's dinner, which will take place on April 27, is Conan O'Brien, host of the late night talk show "Conan" on TBS. White House Correspondents Association president Ed Henry announced the news Wednesday morning.
"Conan is one of television's most innovative and influential talents and I am absolutely thrilled that he has agreed to be this year's featured act," said Henry in a statement. "As social media has changed all aspects of the media business, Conan has embraced this shifting landscape to become a creative force both online as well as in the traditional television model."
Henry also hinted in a tweet that "Team Coco" partner in comedy Andy Richter may also have a role at the dinner, which is customarily attended by the president, first lady, Washington reporters, writers and producers, and increasingly, Hollywood stars. The annual speech by the comedian is traditionally preceded by comments from the president, in which he pokes fun at himself as well as top politicians.
The dinner is a fundraiser for some $100,000 in annual academic scholarships for high school students. First lady Michelle Obama will help announce this year's recipients who will be in attendance.
This will be O'Brien's second turn headlining the dinner, following his 1995 appearance. That's when Bill Clinton was president and 32-year old O'Brien was beginning a 16-year long run as host of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on NBC.
Jimmy Kimmel headlined last year's dinner, with Seth Myers in the spotlight in 2011.