Standup comedian and former late-night political correspondent Hasan Minhaj is on the verge of launching his own Netflix show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. It’s a “visual comedy podcast,” as he calls it, one that’s uniquely him: blending Minhaj’s sharp voice that explores the modern geopolitical and cultural landscape, with an impressive studio set and a chance to display his impressive sneaker collection.
Before the show debuts on October 28, here’s what you didn’t know about Hasan Minhaj, who…
1. Learned comedy from Napster and Kazaa.
Remember that pre-app signifier of dubiously legal nostalgia? While some people were figuring out how to download early-2000s pop-punk, Minhaj used it in college to download every standup comedy special he could get his hands on.
2. Used to work in tech support.
But he didn’t last long. While attending UC Davis and living with his parents, he snuck out of the house to drive to Sacramento and San Francisco to put his standup skills to the test.
3. Wanted to “marry up.”
When Minhaj met his future wife, Beena, she was on track to becoming a doctor of public health, and he was broke. He had all sorts of ideas on how to propose to her: namely, a sunrise hot-air balloon ride, via a coupon website, on a Wednesday, as a surprise to his lucky lady. Unsurprisingly, the plan didn’t go well, and he instead wound up asking her at a chain restaurant.
4. Is a style icon.
Look at his hair. Look at it. Coconut oil, he says: That’s the secret to its shininess, a tip he learned from his grandpa, for a look once described as “your friend’s cute younger brother.” And again, the man knows his way around a pair of sneakers.
5. Is a hell of a dancer.
6. Faced racism (surprise!) in central California.
An Indian Muslim guy facing racism in California will be surprising if you think of the state as a liberal bastion, and unsurprising if you hail from anywhere north of the Bay Area. One lasting memory, according to Minhaj: he went to pick up his date for prom, but her father had already found a nice white boy for her instead. The story made its way into both the narrative and the title of his critically-acclaimed Netflix special, Homecoming King, which netted him a Peabody Award, so who’s laughing now, racist dad?
Stream the premiere of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj on Netflix, starting October 28.
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