Minhaj: Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj kills it on Comedy Central

WASHINGTON: When Hassan Minhaj was chosen to deliver the White House Correspondents Association dinner speech in 2017, he joked “Nobody wanted to do it, so obviously it ends up in the hands of an immigrant.”
Fast forward to 2023, Minhaj, whose parents immigrated to America from Aligarh, UP, hosts The Daily Show, one of late night comedy’s most prestigious concerts, amid calls to make it a regular fixture after a brilliant start.
These immigrant kids… forget about CEO suits and political office, they don’t even spare jobs in the entertainment and comedy circuit.
Minhaj, 37, got his first big break in late night television on The Daily Show with acclaimed Jon Stewart, working as a senior correspondent from 2014 to 2018. His glowing critiques of growing up and being a Muslim and an immigrant in an America that has seen a rise in xenophobia earned him acclaim and the first of his two Peabody Awards for his comedy special, Homecoming kingreleased on Netflix in 2017.
He left The Daily Show in August 2018 to host a weekly comedy show, Patriot Act with Hassan Minhaj, on Netflix, wins a second Peabody in 2019. It is now full circle when he returns as host following the exit of Trevor Noah in December 2022 after being at the helm for seven years. Noah had succeeded Jon Stewart who hosted Comedy Central’s flagship show for 16 years and became a legend.
Minhaj’s most famous moment came during the WHCA dinner in 2017, when he took down then-President Donald Trump, who boycotted the event that presidents usually attend sportingly even if they’re roasted.
“Our country’s leader is not here. And that’s because he’s in Moscow”, Minhaj she joked, calling him “Chief Liar” and the years of his presidency “the golden age of lying”.
In a shtick that infuriated Trump’s MAGA base, he mocked the then-president’s penchant for golf, his lack of attention to serious issues, and his strange media habits, quipping, “Tweet at 3 a.m. . .. sober. Who tweets at 3am Am I sober? Donald Trump, because it’s 10am in Russia. Those are business hours!”
Minhaj was born in Davis, California and raised and educated there. His father Najme Minhaj he is an organic chemist and his mother Seema Usmani Minhaj is a doctor who returned to India to finish her medical degree for several years before returning to the US.
“We were basically two brown dudes trying to make it in America. He’s trying to navigate being the only brown guy at work. He’s this single guy, but he’s married. And he’s got this kid, this kid he’s raising. And I’m sailing growing up in this sea of ​​white. I’m this brown speck in my class photo,” Minhaj recalled in an interview.
In stark memories of his childhood, Indian and Muslim in America, Hasan once recounted how he dared his conservative father to go to prom with a white girl, only to have his mother tell him when he got to their house that he would wouldn’t have been a good fit because they would have taken a lot of pictures (and didn’t want family in Ohio to see her with a brown guy)
“I rode my bike home, snuck back to my room and just played Mario Kart for the rest of the night. And it’s the best I’ve ever worn to play Mario Kart,” Hasan joked.
Hasan is married to Beena Patel, a Hindu Gujaratiwho was her school and college boyfriend for ten years, and spoke of the opposition he had to overcome on all sides to bring about that union.
Earlier this week, Minhaj took over his new role as host with a brilliant skit Ronny Chieng, both arguing over who is Asian, and ending with an agreement: “Let’s not argue. White people are watching.” In another segment, Minhaj quit Twitter and deactivated his live account, calling it a “hellscape”.


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