- The former frontrunner was reportedly dropped because of the New Yorker expose in which some of the supposedly autobiographical stories that he used in his routines were found to be embellished.
Competition to permanently host Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” just got shorter. Hasan Minhaj, a front-runner to host the show, has been informed by Paramount Global, the show’s parent company that he will not be succeeding former host Trevor Noah, Puck News reported. The decision appears to come in the wake of a recent expose in The New Yorker in which some of the supposedly autobiographical stories that Minhaj has used in his routines were found to be embellished.
According to Puck’s Matthew Belloni, Minhaj’s deal to take the Daily Show reins was all but done before the New Yorker story hit on Sept. 15. In fact, “Minhaj would have been announced as the new TDS host this summer had the strike not intervened,” Belloni, said. “Instead, both sides sat on the announcement, and then… disaster.”
Since the article was published last month, there’s been a lot of conjecture on the Indian American comedian’s chances of replacing former host Trevor Noah, who departed the popular late-night TV program in 2022. Variety magazine reported earlier that Comedy Central was “going back to square one in its efforts to find a new host for the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning program. The comedian, actor, writer, and producer was till recently a leading candidate for the open host role for the show.
Minhaj acknowledged to the New Yorker that he exaggerated some of the incidents he’s included in his latest Netflix special, “The King’s Jester.” In the Sept. 15 article titled “Hasan Minhaj’s Emotional Truths,” author Clare Malone shared several “embellished” stories in “The King’s Jester.” There are anecdotes of an FBI informant who infiltrated his family’s Sacramento-area mosque; his fallout following “Patriot Act” segments on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalism; an incident with his daughter, among others.
A former correspondent for “The Daily Show,” Minhaj, who guest hosted from Feb. 27 to March 2, “brought in an average of 602,000 total viewers, “according to The Wrap. He worked on the show as one of its team of faux “correspondents” between 2014 and 2018. In an interview with Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast in May, Minhaj admitted that he is “definitely open to having a conversation” about hosting the show. It’s a very different conversation than when I first got hired at the show when I was 29,” he said. “My life is in a very different place. And so that’s a bigger life/family convo. It changes a lot of things,” he said. “It’s an all-encompassing, all-consuming thing.”
Since Noah’s departure, the popular late-night TV program has featured a roster of different comics filling in as hosts, including Minhaj, Kal Penn, Chelsea Handler, Leslie Jones, Al Franken, Marlon Wayans, and Sarah Silverman, as well as long-time contributors Roy Wood, Jr., Desi Lydic and Jordan Klepper.