Hasan Minhaj Says ‘Daily Show’ Guest-Hosting Gig ‘Feels Like a Homecoming’

“There’s so many amazing frontrunners,” the former correspondent told TheWrap

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 03: Hasan Minhaj attends the premiere party for Netflix Comedy Special "Hasan Minhaj: The King's Jester" at Rideback Ranch on October 03, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Former “Daily Show” senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj is “pumped” to return to the late night satirical news program starting on Monday.

“It feels like a homecoming for me. It really was my comedy undergrad,” the two-time Peabody Award-winning comedian told TheWrap during an interview about his upcoming hosting stint for the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

“I owe everything in my career to that show. It was the show that gave me health insurance, it was the show that gave me an opportunity to work with Jewish Yoda Jon Stewart. I got to work with Trevor Noah who was absolutely incredible and what he brought to the show was so different, and the thing that I certainly hope for it is I hope I bring something new to the show.”

Minhaj is one of multiple rotating guest hosts as the “Daily Show” team searches for a successor to Noah, who left after seven years. Guest hosts who have already had an opportunity at the desk include Leslie Jones, Wanda Sykes, DL Hughley, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman.

“Everybody has brought their own unique take to it. A lot of times in show business, you think of that list as a very short list. But what the guest hosts have shown is that there is a breadth of possibility, of what is possible behind that desk, and I think that’s really cool … there’s so many amazing frontrunners and that’s something that I don’t think people would have been as open to even a few months ago. But now seeing it, I think the possibilities are really endless and that’s exciting.”

After Minhaj, the “Daily Show” will be guest-hosted by Marlan Wayans, Kal Penn, Al Franken and John Leguizamo.

Ultimately, Minhaj hopes that whoever ends up taking over as host of the Daily Show has “a deep reverence for the show, that building 604 West 52nd Street and what the institution of the Daily Show represents to global political satire.”

“No matter where you go in the world, whether you go to Egypt or South America, people will be like, ‘We need a show like the Daily Show here.’ I’ve heard that time and time again in all of my travels around the world,” Minhaj added. “It is an American comedy institution that represents cutting irreverent political satire and I hope whoever takes that desk pours their heart into it the way Jon and Trevor did.”

Minhaj declined to say whether he would be interested in taking over the hosting gig full-time, but emphasized that he wants to be on stage for the show’s 50th anniversary.

“I want the institution to thrive and be great and amazing and survive and be a cultural institution the way ‘SNL’ has continued to be a cultural institution, which is now going on it’ll be almost half a century that it’s been on. I think it was season 48 this year, it’ll be turning the corner to 50. And I remember distinctly being in New York City when they were celebrating the 40th and I would love to be a part of in any way to be on stage to see it make 40 years, 50 years. I think the show was created in 1996, so we’re going on 26 years, a quarter century. And I want to make it a half century, so that’s my wish for it.”

Minhaj is best known for his breakout special “Homecoming King” and the critically acclaimed, political satire show “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” on Netflix. In October, Hasan’s second one-hour comedy special “The King’s Jester” premiered on the streamer.

He is also the co-founder and chief executive officer for 186K Films, which will produce its first feature “For The Culture” with Amazon Studios. Minhaj is co-writing the script with Prashanth Venkataramanujam and will star in the film.

In addition to guest hosting “The Daily Show,” Minhaj is set to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 4. Previously, Minhaj headlined the White House Correspondent’s dinner in 2017.