Comic to be show's first African-American emcee

Wayne Brady will host the 2002 Miss America Pageant, scheduled to air next month on ABC (Daily Variety, July 10).

Move marks the first time an African-American host will emcee the event.

“It’s a privilege to be asked to host the Miss America competition, and I look forward to joining the rich tradition of this organization,” Brady said in a statement.

“My selection as host is a also a defining moment, as I will be able to proudly represent the African-American community for the first time in this role in the telecast’s history,” he added.

Brady, one of the returning stars of ABC’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway” this fall, also is set to host his own hourlong syndicated talk/variety show, starting in September, for fellow Mouse House company Buena Vista TV.

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