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Why The Sketch Artist From Haunted Mansion Looks So Familiar

Disney's "Haunted Mansion" is looking to be a rapturous affair. In addition to an all-star cast including Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, and Owen Wilson, audiences will undoubtedly look forward to seeing their favorite ghosts from the classic Disneyland ride pop up to offer some reasonable scares.

The latest trailer offers an even better look, and it appears the movie will do a great job balancing frights with comedy. One such example is a scene at the end of the trailer where Stanfield and Danny DeVito's characters are talking to a sketch artist about one of the ghosts. To their surprise, the artist does an incredible job of depicting the ghost, and if he looks familiar, that's because it's none other than Hasan Minhaj. His involvement in the film was revealed at D23 in an undisclosed capacity, but now we know who he is. And it sounds like that one scene may be all he's in, as the actor revealed in an interview with Etalk. He refers to it as "my scene," but even if that's all he's in, he'll undoubtedly make the most of it comedy-wise if his resume is any indication. 

Most people were probably first introduced to Hasan Minhaj on The Daily Show

Hasan Minhaj's involvement in entertainment began in the realm of stand-up comedy. He became interested in it in college and performed relentlessly. He even did a set for NBC's "Stand-up for Diversity," where he became a finalist. That exposure led to some roles in short films and YouTube shorts, but eventually, his unique take on society found its way onto Jon Stewart's lap on "The Daily Show."

He was a correspondent on the show for over 100 episodes, spanning both Stewart and Trevor Noah's tenures. From interviewing folks to appearing in sketches, Minhaj honed a sharp political wit. As such, it should've come as no surprise that when Noah stepped down and the show brought in a slew of guest hosts, Minhaj was one of them. The comedian spoke with Collider about what it was like to return to his old stomping grounds in 2023, "For me, it's going to be like a homecoming, and being around that amazing staff, it really was my college undergrad. It was my comedy college undergrad, so to speak. So getting a chance to go back and work with Jen Flanz and Zhubin Parang and Dan Amira and that entire staff and crew that they got to see me. They literally hired me and got to see me grow and come into my own as a comedian and a performer."

Political satire would go on to define Minhaj's career, as he pursued a similar project upon leaving "The Daily Show."

He'd go on to host Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

The same year Hasan Minhaj left "The Daily Show," he pursued another project where he could bring his signature brand of political satire to the masses with Netflix's "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj." The show ran for six seasons before it was canceled by Netflix, but the show managed to win an Emmy and a Peabody during that time. The show separated itself from "The Daily Show" by not necessarily focusing on the news of the day. Instead, Minhaj examined larger issues, including U.S. immigration policies and the country's over-reliance on oil. 

The show ended in 2020 amid a presidential election cycle and the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the show came to a close, Minhaj spoke with UPROXX about the show and how his team tried to make timeless episodes, "I think our Coronavirus Supply Chain episode was a storytelling example of, 'Yes, we all have heard the story of 'America is made in China.' What you don't know is, we made that deal a long time ago and it's affecting our supply chain when it comes to PPE, but also meat,' and then tell the story of meat supply chains and the way the media covered Trump's signing of the executive order to quote-unquote, 'keep meat-packing plants open' and how they responded."

There was a major outcry when the show was canceled, with many viewing it as an essential piece of news media and comedy. Minhaj was even named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people when the show was going on. With a show's reputation like that, it wouldn't be long until the comedian found other work.

Hasan Minhaj appeared on Season 2 of The Morning Show

People have gotten used to seeing Hasan Minhaj behind a desk, so it probably didn't take much for them to accept him as a news anchor on "The Morning Show" on Apple TV+. He's introduced in the first episode of Season 2 as Eric Nomani, the new co-host for Bradley (Reese Witherspoon). 

The theme of constantly playing news reporters wasn't lost on Minhaj. When the theme in his career was brought up by Coup De Main Magazine, he stated, "I'm very used to wearing a suit, looking directly down the barrel of a camera, and reading prompter. The only thing that was new here, which I think is really interesting, is all the dramatic elements of the show. That was really fun and amazing." "The Morning Show" made a name for itself for incorporating elements of the #MeToo movement into its plot, so even though the news might be fake, Minhaj still grapples with real-world issues within this program. 

Of course, Minhaj can be more than a news anchor, as he's demonstrated in projects like "Rough Night" and "The Spy Who Dumped Me." And he'll purely be silly in "Haunted Mansion," which should be a nice change of pace from constantly having to talk about the state of the world in his other credits.