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Conan O’Brien Offers To Fill In For Donald Trump At White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Deadline logo Deadline 3/1/2017 Lisa de Moraes

Conan O’Brien wants the White House Correspondents’ Association to know that he would be delighted to stand in for President Donald Trump at its dinner this year.

© Provided by Deadline Days after he started calling “fake” press – defined as outlets that report news Trump does not like – the “enemy” of the American people,” Trump announced he would not attend the annual dinner, telling Fox & Friends he made this decision because members “make stories up” and “create sources.”

It marks the first time a president has declined to attend, since President Ronald Reagan – but in Reagan’s defense, he had just been shot.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Conan what advice he’d have for the comedian hired to play host at this year’s event, given the unusual circumstances. Conan having had that gig twice: in 1995 when Bill Clinton was POTUS, and in 2013 when Barack Obama was in the White House, replied without hesitation, “If it were me, what I would do…I would play both parts.”

“I would play President Trump, and then I would switch and be the comedian. That way I get twice the airtime. All you need, Alec Baldwin has shown us, is a wig – I don’t even need the wig. I’m ready to do now,” Conan said of his red hair. “I’d just comb this forward, and make a face like I’d eaten a lemon, and I’m there. So I would happily play both parts, and I would just ask for twice the pay.”

Conan was visiting Tapper’s show to plug tonight’s Conan Without Borders: Made In Mexico special on TBS.

Conan’s TBS late-night colleague, Samantha Bee already is hosting an alt-White House Correspondents Dinner on the same night at a different hotel in Washington, D.C.  –  a safe haven for Hollywood celebrities who love being seen in the Washington political setting, but had been losing sleep trying to figure out how to reconcile that with their strong anti-Trump positions. In her January announcement, Bee made a point of saying her alt-WHCD welcomed all “non-irritating celebrities,” as well as journalists.

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