Roy Wood Jr. has been tapped as the featured entertainer for the 2023 White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 29. The comedian, 44, was announced as the event’s headliner on Thursday, February 2. Roy often brings current events into his comedy, making him a perfect pick for the event! He promised a night for the “history books” in a press release for the event. “It’s an honor to be a part of a long-running tradition of celebrating those members of the media, who work so hard to uncover the truth, and hold our government accountable,” he said.
White House Correspondents Association President Tamara Keith also opened up about why Roy was the perfect pick for the event in a statement. “Roy Wood Jr. brings a journalistic eye to his comedy. He’s hilarious – but also makes sure his audiences are thinking as they laugh,” she said. Find out everything you need to know about Roy here!
1. Roy Has Been Doing Standup Comedy Since He Was A Teen
Roy has been entertaining audiences for decades! He started doing comedy as a 19-year-old student at Florida A&M University, per Variety. Over 25 years later, Roy has accomplished so much throughout his career. He’s released three standup specials, with his most recent being 2021’s Imperfect Messenger. He’s also made numerous appearances on various late-night shows, sitcoms, and movies and took part in the comedy reality series Last Comic Standing. He starred in series like Sullivan And Son from 2012 to 2014 and served as the host of the Comedy Central storytelling series This is Not Happening from 2018 to 2019, per IMDb.
2. He Got His Start As A Radio Journalist
In an alternate universe, Roy could’ve been a serious news anchor rather than a comedic one! When he was getting start in comedy, he was also studying broadcast journalism in college. Before he jumpstarted his comedy career, he worked as an intern for WBHJ Jamz 95.7. When the then-on-air comedian left the station, Roy stepped up to take his place which helped give him a boost in his comedy career, he told The Tallahassee Democrat in a 2018 interview.
While he may be well-regarded for his political comedy now, he actually got his start with something a bit more juvenile: prank calls, but he revealed that they’ve helped him with his next job. “It’s a skill set that actually comes in handy on The Daily Show,” he told The Tallahassee Democrat. “There’s a run-and-gun aspect to it. No class can teach you this. You learn that when you get somebody on the hook, you stay calm. It’s something you learn during the prank calls.”
3. He Was a Correspondent For ‘The Daily Show’
As mentioned, Roy was a correspondent on The Daily Show from 2015 to 2022. He has weighed in on a variety of topics throughout the show, including the Academy Awards, Ivanka Trump’s job, racism in Boston, and much more. He’s also performed in sketches, playing a court officer during conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ trial and brought much levity to very serious topics.
4. He Has One Son
Outside of the comedy world, Roy is a loving father. His son clearly has an influence on his sense of comedy, and he even named his 2017 special Father Figure. He also opened up about hilarious things that his son did during a 2019 interview on Stupid Questions With Chris DiStefano. He hilariously revealed that his son had shoved pasta inside his Playstation 4.
On a more serious note, Roy opened up about how he wanted his son to have a sense of hope in the future during an appearance on the PBS series Finding Your Roots. “The biggest advantage I have in raising my son that my ancestors didn’t have in raising their children is that I can give my son hope,” he said.
5. His Dad Was A Major Figure In The Civil Rights Movement
It should come as no surprise that Roy had a natural talent for radio early on in his career, because the comedian’s dad Roy Wood Sr. was also a major broadcaster throughout the civil rights movement. Roy reported for a variety of TV and radio stations throughout the 50s and 60s, reporting on the Civil Rights movement and various stories about equality. He also notably co-founded the National Black Network, where he hosted the show One Black Man’s Opinion in 1972, via C-Span. Unfortunately, Roy Wood Sr. didn’t get to see his son’s success as a comedian as he died in 1995 at age 80.
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