Hasan Minhaj

Major Leaguer

  • 11 Nov - 17 Nov, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Panorama

Hasan Minhaj is a comedian, actor, and writer from New York. Throughout his career, Minhaj has focused on dismantling racist and religious stereotypes, especially regarding Islam and Muslim Americans. Growing up in a largely white neighbourhood in Davis, California, the son of Muslim Indian immigrants, Minhaj was subject to bias at a young age. He frequently channels his personal experience and stories – like a hilarious gig about his first crush, who said he was the colour of poop – into his work.

Minhaj joined The Daily Show in 2014, one month before Trevor Noah, now the Comedy Central programme’s host, took over from Stewart. While working for The Daily Show, Minhaj, who lives with his wife, Beena, wrote a one-man theatre piece, Homecoming King. His critically acclaimed performance, exploring his experience as a first-generation Indian-American growing up with a strict father, premiered in New York in 2015. It’s centred on his father’s reaction to Minhaj being asked to prom by a white friend.

Minhaj became interested in comedy while studying at University of California, Davis, where he majored in political science. After a brief stint in engineering, he moved to Los Angeles and was a finalist on StandUp NBC, a nationwide search for diverse comedians. He appeared in guest roles on Arrested Development and Getting On, but gained traction with The Truth with Hasan Minhaj. The 2014 web series dismantled racism in politics and pop culture. From there, it wasn’t a long trip for Minhaj to get to Trump, for he was also the host of the 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner, where his antics were widely appreciated by Americans and non-Americans alike.