"As far as I was told, Hasan was going to be the guy."
Roy Wood Jr. shared that fellow Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj had been set to take over as host of the satirical news program following Trevor Noah's departure, but it all "fell apart" after that New Yorker profile.
The revelation came during Wood's appearance on comedian Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out podcast, after Birbiglia joked that Wood planted Minhaj's story in the New Yorker. "That's literally why everything fell apart," Wood said after a big laugh.
"As far as I was told, Hasan was going to be the guy,” Wood said, noting that his initial reaction was, "Okay, cool, so I’ll hang out here the rest of the year, and we’ll see what Hasan wants to do, what his vision is, whether I fit in that. I'm still trying to sell my own sitcom, trying to write movies, there's other s--- I wanna do, but let's see."
Because as fellow correspondent Ronny Chieng once put it, "The best show in comedy is The Daily Show," Wood said, later adding, "The New Yorker article comes out, and then the buzz is there's a shift at Comedy Central in whether or not Hasan is still going to be the guy, which eventually turned into he’s not going to be the guy."
Reps for the show and Minhaj didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
The September 2023 New Yorker reported that Minhaj embellished anecdotes in his standup material. Minhaj acknowledged that they were embellished, noting that the stories were rooted in "emotional truth" and that the broader points he was trying to make, about race in America, with them justified his hyperbole. "The punchline is worth the fictionalized premise," he said in the profile.
After it became clear that Minhaj was "not going to be the guy, the question was just, ‘What’s gonna be the process now?'" Wood said. “In my opinion, they couldn’t articulate adequately enough for me what that process would be and whether or not I fit into that process."
Wood departed the show in October 2023 after eight years as a correspondent. He recently went viral at this year's Emmy Awards after not-so-subtly mouthing "please hire a host" from the stage after The Daily Show nabbed the award for Outstanding Talk Series. The show had been rotating guest hosts since Noah's exit in December 2022, and just recently tapped OG host Jon Stewart as a part-time host.
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