Hasan Minhaj Had to Stop Ellen DeGeneres From Pronouncing His Name Incorrectly on ‘The Ellen Show’

Lately everyone seems to have a story about celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres behaving badly. From former employees to A-list guests, dozens of people have come forward alleging that the 62-year-old comedian isn’t as kind as she acts on television. Many of these stories are unproven. But the whole spectacle is encouraging fans to watch old footage to see what DeGeneres has been like all along.

Looking through past celebrity appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show reveals that the titular host has a history of making people uncomfortable. It happened with comedian Hasan Minhaj, only he quickly corrected her on national TV.

Hasan Minhaj is a career comedian just like Ellen DeGeneres

Hasan Minhaj
Hasan Minhaj | Jim Spellman/WireImage

Minhaj grew up in California and became interested in comedy from a young age. He won Wild 94.9’s Best Comic Standing contest and used that success to book gigs and build his reputation. Before long, he landed a guest role on television shows including Arrested Development and Getting On.

The comedian hit it big after getting hired by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show as a correspondent. He was a speaker at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2017.

Next, he helped develop a new show on Netflix, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. It won two Peabody Awards and helped Minhaj get named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.  

The comedian didn’t let Ellen DeGeneres mispronounce his name

As a comedian, it’s true that Minhaj has a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at himself. But he must have been sick of hearing his name pronounced the wrong way and decided to do something about it, Slate reported.

DeGeneres introduced the comedian by name to which he replied, “No,” and she countered, “Yes.” He pressed on, insisting it was important to correct her pronunciation there and then with an audience present.

“I actually wanna do this on national television,” Minaj told DeGeneres. “And this is actually a big deal because my parents are here.” He continues by giving the correct pronunciation (HA-sun MIN-haj) and then quipping, “If you can pronounce Ansel Elgort, you can pronounce Hasan Minhaj.”

Hasan Minhaj discussed the importance of pronunciation


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Later, Minhaj rehashed the whole event during the opening segment of Patriot Act, clarifying why he made a big deal about it, according to Buzzfeed News.

“Mom and Dad are sitting there… and Ellen’s just like ‘Hey, Ha-SAN! I looked in the audience … and my mom who gave me that name is just like ‘eugh.’ And I’m like ‘Dude, what am I doing?’ I have a show with my f*cking name on it and I’m still being like, ‘It’s with Sean!'”

He continued, “And so I was like, ‘All right, Ellen, just let’s do this right now. ’Cause we can pronounce Timothée Chalamet, so we’re gonna do this right now.”

He explained how later, his father scolded him for wasting time on the pronunciation. But Minhaj maintains it was important, not just for him but for other children of immigrants who may be self-conscious correcting people about their own names.

“So I’m gonna go on Ellen, the most American show ever, and make you hit all the syllables,” Minhaj concluded.