Hasan Minhaj Jokes About Losing Daily Show Hosting Gig

“We’ve all failed in our lives, but have you ever failed so bad, you bring back Jon Stewart?” Minhaj mused yesterday at the Netflix is a Joke comedy festival.

“I saved a dying institution,” Minhaj added. “You’re welcome.”

For those not following along, after an extended on-air audition process, Comedy Central had reportedly chosen Minhaj to be Trevor Noah’s successor at The Daily Show last summer and planned to make the announcement at the conclusion of the Writers Strike.

Before that could happen, The New Yorker published a widely-shared article that accused Minhaj of embellishing his confessional-style standup material with exaggerations and falsehoods. Although Minhaj later responded with his side of the story and a fact-check of the New Yorker’s fact-check, by then Comedy Central had reportedly backed away from Minhaj amid the controversy.

The Daily Show never did lock down a permanent host. Instead, earlier this year the show brought Jon Stewart back to host on Monday nights while a rotation of correspondents have taken over desk duties for the rest of the week.

Minhaj’s comments yesterday marked the first time he has publicly acknowledged losing the Daily Show gig. He made them while hosting a lineup of comics that included current TDS correspondent Ronnie Chieng. As Variety recounts, it was a joke Chieng made that spurred Minhaj to address the situation.

“I’m surprised that Hasan’s able to do this show,” Chieng told the crowd. “I guess canceling is not what it used to be.”

“You planted that story about me!,” Minhaj replied in mock accusation. Minhaj ultimately got onstage and discussed the incident with Chieng, asking at one point. “Who the f*** fact-checks standup comedy?”

Minhaj was a Daily Show correspondent from 2014 to 2018. He went on to host the Netflix series Patriot Act from 2018-2020.

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