I'm Hasan Minhaj and I have a new show called 'Patriot Act' on Netflix, AMA!
Hey there everybody! I'm Hasan Minhaj. My new show 'Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj' launched with two episodes on Sunday that are currently streaming on Netflix. - You can also catch the main story from each episode on YouTube! - Each Sunday, I dissect a different politically and culturally relevant topic with thoroughly researched data and some of my own personal experience. In the first two episodes, I covered a recent lawsuit against Harvard and affirmative action and shared my thoughts on the problematic relationship between Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the United States.
You may know me from hosting the White House Correspondents Association dinner, my time as a correspondent on The Daily Show, or this Pizza Hut commercial. Either way, ask me anything!
Also! Follow Patriot act on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
Hey I'm eating dinner at Applebee's now so this AMA is over. Thanks for the thoughtful questions and be sure to watch Patriot Act on Netflix!
Come on you know I was in The Big Sick.
Hi Hasan! I’m curious on your thoughts on Apu potentially being removed from the Simpsons. Growing up, did his representation as an Indian affect you and your family? Do you think the character is offensive?
EDIT: Rumors that Apu being removed are not confirmed.
I was in Hari's film about Apu. I thought it was great. Hari's a good friend and yes, Apu did have an affect on my life and countless other brown kids growing up. I can't tell you the amount of times people have yelled stupid shit at me like, "Thank you, come again." It's for sure problematic. BUT, is it the most pressing issue facing communities of color? No. Frankly, Apu is way more hacky than he is offensive. To steal a construction from Seinfeld, Apu doesn't offend me as an Indian. Apu offends me as a comedian.
Shoutout to everybody on reddit for the questions. I gotta run now and get some lunch. Going to hit up Applebee’s. Talk to you later. Check out Patriot Act this Sunday on Netflix. Peace.
Your style video with Tan from QE was great. Any chance of a buddy cop show with you two?
Yeah it’s going to be called “Tan France: Fashion Police” and Tan is going to arrest me every episode for my bad outfits, but we stay friends. That’s the beauty of it.
Hi Hasan, loved the first two episodes! My question, what would you have changed, if anything, about your White House Correspondents' Dinner speech if Donald Trump was present?
It would have been awesome had he been there. This is the only country in the world where you can make fun of the most powerful people in the country to their face. We had a set planned for him if he had showed up to it. We called it DEF CON ORANGE. I had an orange notecard in my jacket pocket with jokes. I honestly thought he was going to kick through the door Triple H style.
From a fellow Indian, what’s the biggest punishment your parents gave you?
My dad didn’t let me do stand up comedy for an entire summer. He made me study for the LSAT. I wish he had just thrown a shoe at me.
Hasan! It’s Cole here from Dissect.
What is the best sneaker of all time?
Also, do you think Kings should’ve drafted Luka?
YOOOOOO! You don't have to ask me this via AMA man!
All time? Concord 11.
Re: Luka? Sadly, yes.
Does your dad like the show?
Does your dad like the show?
Love from India, Hasan! How much of executive intereference or suggestions (if at all) do you have to deal with while taping or writing a show? How much of it is positive or helpful? Whom do you take advice from when you feel stuck?
Netflix has been super supportive and has let me talk about whatever I want to talk about on the show. I mean come on, our second episode was MBS. So that was great.
Whenever I'm in a rut I turn to the Jedis who know more than me. Stewart. Colbert. Neal Brennan. Mulaney. Birbiglia. They've all been amazing mentors for me.
I was wondering how you reconcile (to both others and yourself) being a part of the most financially successful immigrant group in the US with the stigma and racism you face as a brown man. I'm asking because I find myself in this situation frequently. My parents are immigrants from India, but I was born here. I make good money now and have a comfortable life, but people seem to think that just because I'm not financially struggling, I have no reason to speak out about institutionalized racism that I and other POC face. Now, it's even got me second guessing myself. How do you address these thoughts, if you have them at all?
Also, I'm a huge fan and love all your work! I can't wait to eagerly watch every new project you take on!
First and foremost, congrats on making that paper! I think you’re answering your own question here: You’re comfortable, you’re making good money -- but that hasn’t stopped you or your family members from being reduced to a stereotype? It hasn’t stopped you from walking into a room and being the only person of color? It hasn’t stopped you from having to answer ignorant questions or watch the consequences of that ignorance?
“People” seem to think you have no reason to speak out about institutionalized racism? Find these people in your phone and delete their number.
Now that you got that money & a foot in the door of some place getting you PAID, use that influence to get that change out there. Now that you aren’t financially struggling, it’s go time. Use your influence.
Salam alaikum, Hasan. My question is why did you decide to host patriot act in the stand up comedy way and not the traditional late night show way? What made you take this route?
W/s I thought this style played to my strengths especially coming out of ‘Homecoming King’. To me, it’s just a more interesting and visual way to talk about these topics. There are a lot of other talk show hosts sitting behind desks, and I felt I needed to be more interactive with the stage and the audience when talking about such important topics.
Could you please collab with Tan France AND Riz Ahmed?
Working on it.
Was able to catch the first episode live last week in NY and was a huge fan. Need to know...who's your favorite artist right now and why?
Donald Glover has been doing the most interesting work right now.
Hey Hasan! I love what you have done in the media. As a brown person myself, who also does stand up comedy. What is the best way to get a writing job on a show similar to yours or the Daily show?
And if that's too specific. What is your favorite political book?
It depends. Some people start as stand ups, some start in sketch or improv, some start as writers online, some come from somewhere else altogether. Basically it’s about finding the comedy that you’re passionate about, working at it, and meeting other people who are doing the same. There’s no one best way to end up as a writer, but if you’re working hard, honing your individual voice, and not being an asshole, that’s your best chance.
Favourite album so far this year?
This year? I don’t have one.
Last year ‘Damn’.
All time? ‘Blueprint’ and ‘Life After Death’.
Check out "Care For Me" By Saba, seems right up your alley.
Check out "Care For Me" By Saba, seems right up your alley.
I've heard good things about this one. I'll check it out!
What's your favorite Disney movie? :P
You're setting me up. Ok fine. Aladdin.
And Lion King.
What topic do you wish you had been able to talk about on The Daily Show? Will you be addressing these topics on the Patriot Act?
I wanted to talk about MBS and we did in our premiere. And our season finale is something I've been sitting on for years...I can't wait for you guys to check it out.
Will your latest tour be on Netflix?
'Before the Storm' was material that I used to prepare for 'Patriot Act'. Act 1 of that show was the proof of concept that I sold to Netflix that is now 'Patriot Act'. Because 'Patriot Act' encompasses elements of 'Before the Storm,' the tour won't be on Netflix.
I'm assuming the next one will be "Post Apocalypse"
Ha. Love that.
Is Roy Wood Jr as sexy in real life as he is on my monitor?
Roy is the truth. And, yes.
Who is your favorite basketball player? What is your favorite basketball team? Do you have a favorite pair of Jordans?
All time? Hakeem Olajuwon.
My second favorite would have to be Bobby Hurley for the Sacramento Kings. I grew up in Davis, so the Kings are my favorite team. I’m a pick and stick guy. My dad took me a Kings game at Arco Arena when I was 7 and Bobby Hurley was playing and I just felt a kinship to him. He was small and scrappy and I really identified with him. #7 is still my favorite number. People are like “Oh, because of Ronaldo?” and I’m like “Nah, Bobby Hurley”.
You obviously know why I got love for The Dream
Favorite pair of Jordans are the Concord 11s. Tinker is a genius.
You're a kings fan? I'm so sorry
I know man. I know.
Hey Hasan, congrats on the new show and your baby girl - she’s adorable!
Just wanted to ask how your sneaker collection is going? Any favourites?
Thank you. I actually had to downsize my collection significantly b/c of the baby. So I gave away a bunch of my sneakers. My current favorites that I still own are Bred 1s. The 2013 releases, not the new ones where the coloring is off.
Being a dad is the best. It's horrifying and beautiful all at once.
I love you! Also do you get distraught and lose hope when writing mostly about politics when the change that happens is very slow? Are you a optimist in general? Also can you do an episode about Modi?
I just think optimism as a mindset is so much better than nihilism.
Hey Hasan, what is your favorite movie of all time and why?
A Bronx Tale. Rocky 1. Underdog stories are my favorite.
Hi Hasan! I'm a huge fan and I think you've made some very intelligent points in the first two episodes...
However, I have some very serious qualms with your first episode regarding college admissions and affirmative action. I am an Indian-American and a STRONG supporter of affirmative action - believe disadvantaged minorities should be given uplifting opportunities. However, I also know that asian-americans are getting SCREWED by the admissions process at the top schools. As someone who recently went through the undergraduate process and is now embarking on the graduate admissions process, let me tell you that hard-working asian americans are asked to score at statistically significant higher levels than their white and minority peers in order for them to even have a SHOT at the top schools.
My fellow asian peers and I toil day in and day out, with the dreams, struggles, and expectations of our immigrant parents on our backs, just to find out that at the end of the road, we never had a fair shake in the first place.
This brings me to my second point. At the end of the first episode, you imply that if Asian-Americans feel that this topic is more important than Affirmative Action, then that in itself is un-american. I wholeheartedly disagree. Education is in fact the prime reason why our families even moved to America in the first place. Indians, particularly, do not usually immigrate here due to lack of economic opportunities back home or persecution. It is almost always for opportunity and education. Are we not supposed to care when the whole purpose of our parents leaving their homeland and struggling for years in a foreign land is being severely compromised?
Again, I strongly support Affirmative Action, but believe that one can support AA and still argue that something serious needs to be done about the plight of the Asian-American applicant. This case in the Supreme Court is finally giving our plight some of the attention that it is due. Would love to hear your thoughts - I love you and the show!!!
Thanks for being thoughtful here. Let’s talk about your premise that our parent’s struggle is compromised: Our parents struggles are a real factor here -- but Asian parents aren’t the only parents who have struggled, faced systematic discrimination & poverty to build a better future for their children.
What’s in question here is not whether Asian-American applicants are blocked from an education. They’re not. The question here whether they are being discriminated against a handful of universities with big name recognition and high tuition bills. Implicit bias against Asian-American applicants might exist. In the case with Harvard, it might be the fault of their admissions offices. It might be the fault of volunteer alumni interviewers or guidance counselors at high schools who give their own recommendation to college admissions offices. That’s what this federal court case is about! I’m not interested in giving Harvard a pass - but I am interested in being real.
College isn’t just about solving ‘Good Will Hunting’ math problems on a blackboard. It’s about creating leaders and problem solvers. Listen - the world is on fire right now. Diverse hires prevent fires! You need a number of perspectives and experiences to create bold leadership and problem solving.
Ending race-consciousness in admissions would be about erasure. Do the Asian-American families who support ending affirmative action want erasure? No. These are just folks that want their kid to stay toasty with some Harvard degrees. Are they being used by people who does want erasure? Yeah buddy! I’m asking them to take a look at the bigger picture and to be just as smart as they want their child’s GPA to signify.
Were you at all leery about working with Netflix after they cancelled Michelle Wolf's show after one season, given the similar format?
I try not to compare myself to other situations. Right now I'm in the eye of the storm creating this show, it's like being a quarterback, you have to stay in the pocket and do the best you can. That's all I gotta do. Pour my heart into these 32 episodes and hope they connect.
And if it doesn't, I can always host American Ninja Warrior.
What advice do you have for my students who are the children of immigrants with high academic expectations?
Do the best you can. Empty the tank. Let the chips fall where they do. I used to beat myself up a lot about that stuff too. I went to UC Davis and things turned out ok. Wishing you nothing but the best.
Hey Hasan! Saw you live at Carnegie a few weeks ago and loved the show! What’s your favorite Indian food?
Dope seeing an Indian blow up like you. Have you ever wondered if your cultural references will hold you back?
I can't focus on that. I just have to be me. That's all that's in my control.
Hey Hasan! Huge fan of the pizza hut commercial! But seriously, where does your research come from? It would be great if you could post sources or links to some of the stats and charts your describe on your show.
Also, want to give a shout out to your research team?
Shout out to Pizza Hut.
We have a whole team of researchers on this show and they are incredible. They do such a deep dive on our topics and supply us with all of the details we need to make the show work. Our comedy team then does an incredible job of creating jokes out of some of the most intense issues we’re facing right now.
Here’s our research crew:
Emily Anderson, Kathryn Lord, Valerie Champagne, Farrah Lopez, Aimee O’Neill, David Sokoler, Noah Weitzman, Arsh Harjani, Sam Eifling, Tyson Brody, Sheila V. Kumar, Naima Pearce, Andy Crystal, Nur Nasreen Ibrahim, Megan Marrelli, Amy Lai Zhang, Abby Arora
And our Comedy writing team:
Prashanth Venkataramanujam, Jim Margolis, Sofia Manfredi, Mark Agee, Emily Galati, Kevin Kataoka, Scott Vrooman, Isabella Giovannini, Zach Rice (he’s single), Moss Perricone (he's trying to grow a mustache right now - also single), Ismael Loutfi (he was on Kimmel - also single)
So many people touch this show on a week to week basis, from production to graphics to the digital side. It’s honestly the most incredible crew I’ve ever worked with.
Coming to Bangalore anytime soon?
I want to. Working on it.
What’s your favorite memory from UC Davis?
Doing standup for the first time and realizing bombing onstage won't kill you.
HONESTLY - with everything we know - has your opinion changed on the Boogie trade?
I'm telling you it's not gonna work out. We did the best we could with him for the 5 seasons he played in Sac. But I HATE that he went to the Warriors.
The bigger question is Luka...
As an Indian Muslim what your opinion on Pakistan?
The only thing we partition is our hard drives.
Two unrelated questions! Favorite sneaker release from this year? Also, thoughts on Sri Lankan brethren?
Loving Patriot Act and Homecoming King!
Love to Sri Lanka!
Haven't bought any shoes this year...the BABY man!
Dude, your show is legit AF.
When are you coming to perform in the Bay?
Good luck on your success!
I performed in Cupertino, went straight to the heart.
Hey Hasan! Fellow Davis alum here. What was your favorite place to eat while at Davis?
Hasan! My fellow blue devil. From one Davisite to another I just wanted to say you’re killing it. Keep it up my dude!
I thought your episode of cicgc was great, but had a couple awkward moments. Am I right? And how was it to work with Jerry?
You can crash on my couch if you’re ever in the Bay Area. We could watch the dubs and smoke a bunch pot. It’ll be chill.
We kicked it for 5 hours and they cut it down to 15 minutes. There were a lotta gems that got cut! But it was awesome hanging with Jerry.
See you in the bay my dude.
Hey Hasan! What got you into comedy? What made you want to start Patriot Act? How do you feel about the feedback you've gotten so far?
Who are some of your favorite fellow comedians?
My personal favorite pure stand up comedians in the game right now are Chappelle, Mulaney, Fahim Anwar, and Michelle Wolf.
So far the feedback has been great. But no matter what people say I gotta continue to deliver a great show and speak from the heart. Whatever happens, happens.
Honestly, this AMA is going so much better than my MTV Failosophy AMA so I take it as a win.
As a fellow brown guy who’s kept his brown name, do you have any advice for succeeding career wise and with women in America?
Believe in yourself. I look like everyone's brown cousin and it turned out ok. You got this. If someone's not into b/c of your skin color, fuck them. You're better off without them.
What are your thoughts on the French tuck, since Tan wears it all the time?
It's not my vibe, but Tan can pull it off.
Top 3 Jordans/sneakers?
Hey Hasan,when can we expect to see your next stand up comedy special?
Working on my next one man show....Shhhhh....
How much money did you make last year before taxes?
6 dollars. No, 8 dollars.
What’s you favourite ice cream??
Pralines and cream.
Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Just watched ur show last night hasan. U like to move ur hands a lot huh? Haha
Ok so what do I do? Keep them in my pockets the whole time Leno style? Let me live man.
Biryani or nihari?
Why a YouTube-esque surprised/shocked cover for your show? made me decide not to watch it.
I thought they were simple and straightforward. Oh well.
Hi Hasan, I disagree with you politically and disliked your performance at the Correspondents dinner. That being said, does this show have something that I would like? Willing to give it a try if you say someone across the isle can get something from it.
I dunk on Obama.
How much coconut oil do you use in your hair?
I do Tel once a week.
I loved your show, Master of None. How do you manage to do so much?
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