Hasan Minhaj Out of Consideration for The Daily Show Hosting Role. Puck News’ Matthew Belloni has reported that Hasan Minhaj, a former correspondent and a once-prominent candidate for The Daily Show hosting position, is no longer in contention. Executives at Paramount Global, the parent company of Comedy Central, have informed Minhaj that he will not be taking over the hosting role vacated by Trevor Noah last year.
Belloni’s insights, featured in his entertainment industry newsletter “What I’m Hearing,” reveal that the strike thwarted Minhaj’s potential announcement as the new host of The Daily Show this summer. Instead, the decision was deferred, resulting in unforeseen consequences.
Last month, Minhaj found himself entangled in a controversy sparked by a New Yorker article penned by Clare Malone. The article accused Minhaj of embellishing stories in his stand-up performances about personal encounters with Islamophobia.
In an interview with Malone, Minhaj acknowledged that some of his material lacked complete factual accuracy, asserting that emotional truth took precedence over factual truth in his stand-up. He explained that his storytelling style is grounded in a kernel of truth, comprising 70% emotional veracity and 30% hyperbole, exaggeration, and fiction.
Minhaj addressed the issue in a statement to Vanity Fair, admitting to enhancing certain stories. He clarified that his stand-up narratives are rooted in real-life events and that the use of hyperbole, modified details, and compressed timelines is intrinsic to the art form, much like a haunted house experience where the emphasis is on the thrill rather than absolute accuracy.
Following the controversy, The Daily Show is reported to have reset its quest for a host, opting to return with a series of guest hosts after the writers’ strike. In recent news, long-time Daily Show correspondent and fan favorite Roy Wood Jr. announced his departure from the show after eight years, raising questions about whether he was also bypassed for the full-time hosting position. Comedy Central confirmed that a permanent host is expected to assume the role in 2024.
Minhaj, who initially joined The Daily Show as a correspondent under Jon Stewart in 2014, received positive acclaim during his guest-hosting stint in February and March. Belloni disclosed that Minhaj and his team at WME believed they were close to finalizing the hosting deal before the controversy erupted.
While the deal had not been formally signed, they had reached agreements on financial aspects prior to the strike, with only the paperwork remaining. Belloni singled out Paramount Media Networks chief Chris McCarthy as the individual who ultimately chose to move on from Minhaj as a host.
The current question revolves around whether Paramount has any financial obligations to Minhaj due to the unresolved status of the deal. According to Belloni, Paramount views the deal as not having been fully closed, with various outstanding matters. Furthermore, Belloni noted that if the deal had been formalized, a standard morals clause would likely have been included, possibly related to the behavior described in the contentious article.