The president might not be at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner but The Daily Show will be as Hasan Minhaj, a correspondent for the show, will host whatever festivities take place on April 29, 2017. SEE ALSO: Everyone is having a field day with news that Trump is skipping the Correspondents' Dinner Of Minhaj, White House Correspondents Association president Jeff Mason said, "Hasan's smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media." Minhaj has been a regular on The Daily Show going back to Jon Stewart's time behind the desk and has continued to produce terrific clips, including a two-part story on Syria refugees in Canada which included fun sparring with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He's also already got the notable dinner host thing down, too, as evidenced by his turn at 2016's Radio and TV Correspondents Association's dinner which included plenty of barbs directed at then-candidate Donald Trump. Minhaj seems pretty upbeat about the event, president or no, saying in a statement, "It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year.
On Hasan Minhaj's Netflix comedy show Patriot Act, President Trump goes by the names "DJ T 45," or, jokingly, "Mr. Minhaj explained to Stephen Colbert on The Late Show why he made the decision to not to say the president's name, and in true millennial fashion, he used a Harry Potter reference. "There are characters in the Harry Potter books [...] a lot of them don't mention Voldemort," Minhaj told Colbert. "For me, [Trump] is the man that shall not be named," Minhaj explained. "I know he exists, but I just don't want to give him the attention."
It's not the first The Daily Show correspondent that the streaming service has poached. Just last month, Netflix announced that fellow correspondent Michelle Wolf would be moving to the streaming network. Minhaj has a previous relationship with Netflix; his hourlong comedy special, Homecoming King, debuted on the network. Minhaj will stay with The Daily Show until he starts production on his show this summer.
Hasan Minhaj will soon follow fellow Daily Show correspondent Michelle Wolf to Netflix with his own weekly comedy show. Netflix announced that Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj will debut on Oct. 28 and that it will "explore the modern cultural and political landscape with depth and sincerity." If the announcement and title are any indicator, it'll also come with plenty of surveillance puns. Minhaj has been part of The Daily Show since the end of the Jon Stewart era and has been the face of a recurring feature called "Hasan the Record," in which he explains complex political issues while parodying YouTube culture. He has also spoken personally about how the Trump administration's immigration policies and general Islamophobia have affected him, not only on The Daily Show but also in his Netflix comedy special, Homecoming King, and at the 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner.
The current trend of releasing behind-the-scenes footage of late-night hosts talking with their audiences is a nice counterpoint to the other current trend of late-night hosts producing what is essentially longform journalism. It's easy to see John Oliver or Trevor Noah or Hasan Minhaj work their way through a richly structured argument about a single topic: That's what their shows basically are now. But for a sense of a host's day-to-day thinking, things like The Daily Show's "between the scenes" segments operate in a candid and improvisational mode that can be more revealing, even as those segments explore topics the main show doesn't go into. Take this delightful bit of crowd work, in which Minhaj and his audience investigate one of the most pressing questions facing America, currently under assault by incredibly rich, incredibly evil people: "What is the monetary amount where your soul turns?" It's fun watching Minhaj manage the guy who thinks, like Dr. Evil, that a million dollars is still fuck you money, and fascinating to see him think on his feet as he tries to set the bar a little higher.