Hasan Minhaj jokes about losing Daily Show job: ‘Have you ever failed so bad, you bring back Jon Stewart?’

‘I saved a dying institution,’ joked Minhaj. ‘You’re welcome.’

Kevin E G Perry
Friday 03 May 2024 22:15 BST
The Daily Show guest host compares Tucker Carlson to a 'Glory Hole'

Comedian Hasan Minhaj joked about the scandal that reportedly cost him the job of host of The Daily Show.

At the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival in Los Angeles on Thursday (2 May), Minhaj hosted a showcase for comedians including his former Daily Show colleague Ronny Chieng, who joked, “I’m surprised that Hasan’s able to do this show. I guess ‘cancelling’ is not what it used to be.”

Minhaj pretended to heckle Chieng from the crowd, shouting: “You planted that story about me!”

Minhaj then joined him onstage, saying: “Who the f*** fact-checks stand-up comedy? Only Ronny Chieng would set me up with some f***ing mouth-breathing journalist. It was you.”

When Chieng brought up the hosting job, Minhaj responded: “A job you f***ed me out of.”

“We’ve all failed in our lives, but have you ever failed so bad, you bring back Jon Stewart?” he added. “I saved a dying institution. You’re welcome.”

Hasan Minhaj pictured in New York in June 2023
Hasan Minhaj pictured in New York in June 2023 (Getty Images)

Last September, Minhaj was the subject of a New Yorker article that questioned the veracity of his stand-up routines, with the 38 year-old admitting to fabricating and exaggerating certain details, including one major story in his 2022 Netflix special The King’s Jester.

At one point during the 2022 routine, Minhaj told the audience about the time he and his wife were supposedly sent a letter filled with white powder that he assumed was anthrax.

Upon opening the mail, the comedian said the powder accidentally spilt on his daughter, who they then rushed to the hospital. There, the doctor informed them that it was not anthrax.

Minhaj told The New Yorker that in fact his daughter was never exposed to anthrax nor hospitalised.

A month earlier, it had been reported that Minhaj was frontrunner to replace Trevor Noah as the host of the satirical news program The Daily Show. After the scandal broke, former host Jon Stewart returned instead for Monday night episodes, with other correspondents anchoring during the rest of the week.

Minhaj previously responded to the New Yorker article with a video in which he denied using “fake racism” to advance his career.

“With everything that’s happening in the world, I’m aware even talking about this now feels so trivial,” the comedian said. “But being accused of ‘faking racism’ is not trivial. It’s very serious, and it demands an explanation.”

For The Independent, comedian Vix Leyton questioned whether a stand-up should be held to account for fabricating elements of the stories they tell on stage, and argued that embellishing anecdotes is just a part of human nature.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in