Posted: February 12, 2018, 12:50pm
Politics and comedy collided last Wednesday night at Bovard Auditorium. Hasan Minhaj, a senior correspondent on The Daily Show and the star of the Netflix special Homecoming King, performed a new stand-up routine to over a thousand students as a part of a speaker series meant to highlight what it means to be Asian Pacific American. Co-hosted by the USC Speakers Committee, Political Student Assembly, and Asian Pacific American Student Association (APASA), this event was a total surprise to me because I expected a typical question and answer style that dove into his background and journey into the entertainment industry as a person of color. Instead, Hasan dove straight into a set that tackled more recent political events and included beautiful graphics that was seen in his Netflix show.
Hasan spend considerable time on immigration, racial prejudice, and xenophobia, showing clips of news footage and displaying statistics in animated graphs and charts. Through his set, one can truly see the relationship between comedy and truth, as well as comedy and tragedy. Hasan was able to deftly transition between moments of humor and moments of seriousness. He made many jokes about Trump’s border wall prototypes, calling the review of them “the Goldilocks of racism”, and the perception of immigrants in American society, pointing to the fact that “when an immigrant knocks on your door, it’s a Mexican woman there to clean your house, or a Jamaican nanny ready to raise your kids, or an Indian guy to set up your wi-fi.” Many of these witticisms concluded with statistics and facts that directly point to the irrational fear of refugees and foreigners. From what we saw last week, Hasan’s new set is bound to make waves when it’s released. Check out Homecoming King to see how Hasan is using comedy to make his audience think about social justice and political issues! He truly is delivering truth in a palatable way to the general public.
Published on February 12th, 2018
Last updated on April 1st, 2021