Roy Wood Jr: ‘Hasan Minhaj Was Going to Be the Guy’ at ‘The Daily Show’ Until New Yorker Article

Mike Birbigila jokes that Wood was the one to plant the story that derailed Minhaj’s shot at hosting

Roy Wood Jr confirmed that fellow “The Daily Show” correspondent Hasan Minhaj was set to take over as host of the satiric news program, until September’s New Yorker article that revealed some of the personal anecdotes in Minhaj’s routines were based on falsehoods.

In a conversation during Mike Birbigila’s “Working It Out” podcast, Wood said, “As far as I was told, Hasan was going to be the guy.” Wood said his initial reaction to the producers’ choice was, “OK, 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.”

After the article came out, Minhaj admitted he had embellished or invented several incidents he claimed in his routine happened to him, but insisted he had always maintained his own “emotional truth” as a Muslim American who had faced instances of racial discrimination.

Wood said that at first it looked like the controversy might die down and when it didn’t, Minhaj was quietly uninstalled as the new host. “The buzz at Comedy Central was he’s still going to be the guy, which eventually turned into he’s not going to be the guy, right?”

Wood added that’s when “it all fell apart,” including his own plan to stay on. “So the question was just, ‘What’s going to be the process now?” He was frustrated that producers were taking their time naming the new host, and have still not named a host several months later.

“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,” he said of his decision to leave “The Daily Show” after eight years.

Instead of naming a new permanent host, producers have brought back Jon Stewart to lead the show on Monday nights.

You can watch the full episode of “Working It Out” at the top of the page now.

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