Hasan Minhaj
Hasan Minhaj of “The Daily Show” at the rooftop lounge in his building in New York.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Finally, a comedian has stepped forward and agreed to speak at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

Hasan Minhaj, a senior correspondent at “The Daily Show,” will be the featured performer at the dinner on April 29, the association said on Tuesday. He will join the ranks of Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien and other stars who have skewered Washington at the annual gathering.

Minhaj, an Indian-American and Muslim who regularly roasts President Trump on “The Daily Show,” will ascend the dais at a dinner that is shaping up to be far more tense than in previous years. Trump is becoming the first president since the 1970s to skip the annual dinner, and his staff is planning to boycott the dinner, too. Vanity Fair and Bloomberg canceled their famed, celebrity-laden after-parties. And the event is playing out against the backdrop of a historically strained period of relations between the administration and the news media.

Without President Trump in the crowd to punch back, some journalists in Washington were concerned that a one-sided monologue attacking the president would give an impression of bias.

“I was not looking for somebody who is going to roast the president in absentia; that’s not fair and that’s not the message we want to get across,” Jeff Mason, the president of the correspondents’ association, said Tuesday morning on MSNBC.

“I was looking for somebody who is funny and who is entertaining, because I want the dinner to be entertaining, but who can also speak to the message that the whole dinner is going to speak to: the importance of the free press,” he added.

Minhaj joined “The Daily Show” in 2014 and has since become a favorite of viewers. A first-generation immigrant, Minhaj wrote and performed “Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King,” an Off Broadway show in 2015 recalling his youth in California and his struggles with ethnic identity. Some of his television commentary about the president has been scathing, and personal. The day after the election, Minhaj described his anxieties about Trump’s policies toward Muslims, saying that his mother had asked if she would be allowed back into the United States after a foreign trip to visit relatives.

“The fact that I can’t tell her ‘yes’ with 100 percent certainty is heartbreaking,” Minhaj said. “That is my mom, and I need her back home. Because I love her — and she owes me $300.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Minhaj called it “a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!”

”Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” he added.