Hasan Minhaj exits “The Daily Show” with this important career lesson

By Joe Berkowitz

On Thursday night, Hasan Minhaj signed off from The Daily Show desk for the last time.


His final segment, closing out a four-year correspondent stint, was a typically trenchant piece suggested MoviePass save itself by combining with the Affordable Care Act.

Fast Company spoke with Minhaj recently, ahead of the October premiere of his weekly Netflix series, Patriot Act, and here’s what he had to say about how his life changed when he became Jon Stewart’s final hire at The Daily Show:

“When I first got hired at The Daily Show, one of the big things that I had to come to terms with was, ‘Oh wow, this is the first time in my career that I get to be part of a cultural and comedy institution that’s both funny and meaningful.’ Usually in your career as a comedian, you get to choose one or the other. It may be funny but not specifically meaningful for moving the needle forward for culture or society. Or you’re doing straight-up documentary work and it’s meaningful but not particularly funny. That was the big game-changer for me. I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to be in the writers room with some of the smartest people in the world. I have to come correct.’

The big thing is: So, what is your take? How do you break it down and connect it to larger ideas? And what is your unique POV that takes you through the issue? And to survive in that room, you can’t just have read the Times. You have to also have a take on each of those headlines. And what I loved about the 9:15 pitch meeting, and to this day it was one of my favorite meetings at The Daily Show and what has the most significant impact on my life and career, is you have 15-25 people in there and the best take wins.”

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj premieres on Netflix on October 28.



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