Leno Featured Comic at Annual White House Correspondents Dinner

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank
    Jay Leno said plans for him to replace Conan at the helm of "The Tonight Show" are just business, nothing personal.

    Late-night comic Jay Leno is the featured entertainer at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington.

    WHCA President Ed Chen said the black-tie, nationally televised dinner to feature Leno — in the news lately for an ugly dispute with Conan O'Brien over NBC's late-night lineup — is being held this year on May 1.

    The dinner is traditionally attended every year by the president, who delivers a comic keynote that rivals — and sometimes surpasses — the hired entertainment.

    O'Brien sealed a $45 million deal for himself and his staff this week to leave NBC and return Leno as host of "The Tonight Show." O'Brien had replaced Leno as host less than a year ago.

    The dinner attracts about 3,000 Washington elite and press as well as Hollywood celebrities. The association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the White House press corps and the presidents they cover. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.

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