scorecardHasan Minhaj jokes that losing 'The Daily Show' hosting gig paved the way for bringing back Jon Stewart: 'I saved a dying institution'
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Hasan Minhaj jokes that losing 'The Daily Show' hosting gig paved the way for bringing back Jon Stewart: 'I saved a dying institution'

Palmer Haasch   

Hasan Minhaj jokes that losing 'The Daily Show' hosting gig paved the way for bringing back Jon Stewart: 'I saved a dying institution'
EntertainmentEntertainment2 min read
  • Hasan Minhaj was a frontrunner for the "Daily Show" hosting gig after Trevor Noah left.
  • In the wake of a New Yorker story that fact-checked his stand-up, Minhaj didn't get the job.

Hasan Minhaj joked that he was the one responsible for "The Daily Show" recovering viewership numbers after he lost out on the hosting gig for the show in the wake of a New Yorker article that fact-checked his stand-up comedy.

The comedian hosted the "Netflix Is a Joke" comedy festival on Thursday in Los Angeles, cracking jokes about losing out on hosting "The Daily Show" in 2023. Minhaj was a frontrunner for the gig, but lost out in the wake of a New Yorker article that attempted to fact-check his Netflix specials.

Minhaj joked that losing the gig paved the way for the late-night show's resurgence, according to Variety.

"We've all failed in our lives, but have you ever failed so bad, you bring back Jon Stewart?" Minhaj asked. "I saved a dying institution. You're welcome."

Trevor Noah, who took over the hosting job for longtime host Jon Stewart in 2015, announced his exit in late 2022. Over the course of 2023, "The Daily Show" brought in a rotating cast of guest hosts, Minhaj among them, as it searched for a permanent one. Former "The Daily Show" correspondent Roy Wood Jr., who departed the show amid its search for a host, said on Mike Birbiglia's "Working It Out" podcast that "as far as it was told" to him, Minhaj was "the guy" before the New Yorker story.

The September 2023 story turned a critical eye to Minhaj's stand-up specials, attempting to determine the veracity of some of his anecdotes. Minhaj told The New Yorker that some specific stories he had told, including one about taking his daughter to the hospital after she opened an envelope and was exposed to a white powder inside, were based on "emotional truths" but featured some embellishments.

Comedy Central eventually made the decision to bring Stewart back into the fold on a part-time basis through the 2024 election season. Stewart now hosts Monday nights, while the show's correspondents round out each week. And to Minhaj's point, it does appear that Stewart's return has buoyed the show's ratings.

Onstage at the comedy festival Thursday, Minhaj bantered with "The Daily Show" correspondent Ronny Chieng about losing the job. Chieng joked, "I'm surprised that Hasan's able to do this show. I guess 'canceling' is not what it used to be," according to Variety.

"You planted that story about me!" Minhaj said from the crowd, per the publication. "Who the fuck fact-checks stand-up comedy? Only Ronny Chieng would set me up with some fucking mouth-breathing journalist."




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