Hasan Minhaj‘s chances of being the new host of The Daily Show went up in flames last month after a New Yorker expose revealed that the comedian embellished personal details in his act. While that’s not uncommon for stand-up routines, Minhaj’s case was more egregious as the comedian reportedly made up a story about his daughter receiving anthrax in the mail and a racist encounter with a homecoming date that didn’t happen.
At the time, Comedy Central simply announced that it was expanding its search beyond Minhaj, which suggested that he wasn’t entirely out of the running, but it wasn’t looking good. According to a new report from Puck News, the situation was even more devastating.
Not only has Minhaj been officially informed by Paramount Global (Comedy Central’s parent company) that he will not be the new Daily Show host, but the job was reportedly in the palm of his hand.
According to Puck’s Matthew Belloni, Minhaj’s deal to take the Daily Show reins was all but done before the New Yorker story hit on Sept. 15. In fact, “Minhaj would have been announced as the new TDS host this summer had the strike not intervened,” Belloni, maintains, adding, “Instead, both sides sat on the announcement, and then… disaster.”
Could Minhaj have weathered the controversy if he still landed The Daily Show gig? Roy Wood Jr. seems to think so. Since leaving the show after he, too, was passed over as host, Wood has been an open book about the behind-the-scenes process including the Minhaj debacle.
“When you stretch the truth for the sake of laughter it’s one thing, but when you do it for the sake of feeling, that’s when people start taking offense,” Wood told Rolling Stone. “I understand the integrity issue that people are bringing up with regard to Hasan and his stand-up. Do I think that the things that happened within his stand-up make him incapable of being a Daily Show host? Nah. I think he would still be a perfectly fine host and a perfectly fine candidate to host The Daily Show.”