Hasan Minhaj hosted this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night, making him the first Muslim and first South Asian American to headline the annual Washington roast. “Only in America can a first-generation Indian Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president,” declared the comic.
Despite President Trump being a no-show, the comedian was in good company, host-wise, as he follows in the foot steps of Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, and Jimmy Kimmel. If you’re not familiar with Minhaj’s work, for the past several years he has been a Comedy Central show correspondent, both with Jon Stewart and now with Trevor Noah, with segments often focusing on religious and Muslim issues.
Saturday night’s comedy routine pulled from Minhaj’s own experiences as a member of an often marginalized minority in America,”from racist bullying in high school to recent hate crimes against Muslims” notes the Washington Post. The Post declared that it took the comic “just 30 seconds into his 25-minute set to bring up his religion.”
According to the Post, “Minhaj represents what he calls ‘New Brown America.’ The Comedy Central star joins a new generation of young performers like Aziz Ansari (“Parks and Recreation,” “Master of None”) and Riz Ahmed (“The Night Of,” “Rogue One”) who aim to reclaim their Muslim heritage from post-9/11 stereotypes and instead offer a richer view of navigating two cultures.”
Minhaj’s comedy special “Homecoming King” premieres on Netflix on May 23. Filmed in his hometown of Davis, Calif., the show features real stories of the funny-man’s upbringing such as sneaking out of his conservative home to attend prom.
Be sure to watch Minhaj’s full speech here .