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How Hasan Minhaj Mastered The Morning Show Song & Dance Routine Thanks to His Mom

Former Patriot Act host Hasan Minhaj shared the surprising inspiration behind his The Morning Show alter ego, plus the origin story of that big number with Reese Witherspoon.

By Samantha Bergeson Sep 17, 2021 11:00 PMTags
Watch: Hasan Minhaj Channels Andy Cohen in "The Morning Show"

If only every news show opened with a song and dance!

The Morning Show's Hasan Minhaj exclusively revealed to E! News how that catchy intro opposite Reese Witherspoon came to be. Minhaj joins season two of the hit AppleTV+ series, premiering today, Sept. 17, playing Eric Nomani, Witherspoon's new co-anchor. Jumping into season two was a whirlwind for Minhaj, who detailed the "great vibe" of the A-list ensemble cast, which includes Jennifer Aniston, Billy Crudup, Karen Pittman and fellow season two addition Julianna Margulies

"I actually found out about the role during my sister's wedding, so we were getting ready to go to her wedding reception and my agent emailed me this audition and he said, ‘Listen, man, I think you'd actually be perfect for this,' and I was already in a suit and I was already ready to go, I just needed somebody to read the lines with me," Minhaj hilariously recalled. "My wife Beena refused to read the lines, so I asked my mom."

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The Morning Show and More of TV's Stacked Casts

Minhaj continued, "My mom has always wanted to be a performer, she's always wanted to act, and so my mom did the actual opening song and dance number that I do with [Reese] on the show. We did that as my audition, and I think the producers liked it, and here we are." 

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Minhaj says he took the audition very seriously: "I went full, like, method," the former Patriot Act host quipped. "I had the choreographer [Dana Wilson] record it on an iPhone and then I played it back in my hotel, and I was trying to hit all my marks. I really got into the body roll. I really spent a lot of time with the body roll, and the key to a good body roll is shoulder, chest, then hips."

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2021 TV Premiere Dates
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The choreographed dance routine perfectly suited Minhaj's Eric, who embodies the fun, lighter side of the fictional Morning Show daytime series, along with ambition to get to the top. "It was a little bit like, Eric has the peppiness of Andy Cohen-slash-Mario Lopez, but he also has the seriousness of someone like Anderson Cooper, like, 'No, I want to do evening news, I'm really taking myself seriously,'" Minhaj explained. "I really try to combine all those characters. If [Anderson and Cohen] were combined and Indian, that's Eric Nomani." 

Watch the interview above to hear all the BTS details of working with this fan favorite ensemble cast! 

The Morning Show premieres today, Sept. 17 with episodes gradually released on AppleTV+. 

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