'The Daily Show': Trevor Noah's Potential Replacement Revealed

Several recent reports named comedian Hasan Minhaj as the frontrunner for the job, though others mentioned actor Kal Penn as well as two other unnamed candidates.

The Daily Show has leaned on a rotating cast of guest hosts for months since the departure of Trevor Noah, but the search for a new permanent host may be winding down at last. According to a report by Variety, the frontrunner for the job is comedian Hasan Minhaj – best known for hosting his own comedy talk show on Netflix called Patriot Act. However, a follow-up report by The Wrap indicated that there may be as many as three others in consideration for the job as well.

Noah announced that he was leaving The Daily Show in October of 2022 and since then Comedy Central has not been in a rush to put a new permanent host in his place. Over the last nine months, guest hosts have included Minhaj, Al Franken, Wanda Sykes, Leslie Jones, Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler, John Leguizamo, Marlon Wayans, Kal Penn and D.L. Hughley, among others. Sources close to the production said that Minhaj was a frontrunner to become the permanent host – thanks in part to his experience as a correspondent on the show in the past. However, they also said that Penn was in serious consideration as well. Two other candidates were mentioned but not named.

Minhaj was a correspondent on The Daily Show from 2014 to 2018, making him a familiar face and an easy fit for the production since he already knows how things work. Minhaj also has the benefit of having hosted his own show before with Patriot Act on Netflix. However, that may work against him as well since there are some persistent reports about Minhaj operating a toxic workplace on that set.

Minhaj himself addressed the possibility of hosting The Daily Show back in May when he appeared on the Awards Circuit Podcast. He said: "I'm definitely open to the conversation. It's also a family conversation now. It's a very different conversation than when I first got hired at the show when I was 29. My life is in a very different place. And so that's a bigger life/family convo. It changes a lot of things."

"It's an all-encompassing, all-consuming thing," Minhaj went on. "And other people have to live with the consequences of what I say. And I just want to make sure everybody, if that were to ever come to fruition, 'hey, are we all on board with this?'"

Reps for Minhaj and Comedy Central declined to comment specifically on the latest reports from Variety, and of course, formal deal-making is halted right now due to the Hollywood labor strikes. The Daily Show relied on guest hosts between Noah's exit and the strike, and those episodes reportedly saw a boost in ratings that never quite died down. That took the pressure off executives trying to make a new deal.

As for Noah, he would not specify why he left The Daily Show last year, though it didn't seem to be for one specific reason. The comedian drew huge crowds at his stand-up shows and also seemed to be focusing on his role as a producer through his production company. In June, he was announced as the host of LOL: Last One Laughing, a popular South African series that is now being adapted by Amazon.

There's no telling when the strike will be over, nor when a new host might be selected so that The Daily Show can get back on the air. Previous episodes are streaming on Paramount+.