I first caught up Hasan Minhaj in 2012 on the set of the MTV show he was hosting called Failosophy. Hasan only has succeeded since then, and on a global scale, too. Literally. He hosted a documentary special ‘Stand Up Planet’ for PBS produced by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and became a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart — and now The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. His other TV credits include Arrested Development, Getting On, and @Midnight on Comedy Central.
Hasan’s one-man show, Homecoming King, developed out of a story he first told at The Moth in March of 2014. It’s based on true stories from his experience as a first-generation Indian-American, experiencing the “New Brown America,” interracial love and rejection, racism, bullying, meeting his estranged sister, and achieving his own version of the American Dream. “What will people think?”
It officially opens its off-Broadway run this weekend at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City, where I caught up with Minhaj after one of his preview performances.
We spoke about going back to India now that Minhaj has achieved some career success, his first day at work at The Daily Show, that last night Jon Stewart hosted and being part of the Daily Show universe of stars with Stephen Colbert and “the ’98 Bulls” of comedy, growing up with dreams of playing in the NBA, Harold and Kumar, living at home while attending college, learning about comedy from the back of the Punchline comedy club in San Francisco on Sunday nights, working a customer service tech job in Silicon Valley, and winning the chance to open the Wild 94.9 Comedy Jam in 2008.
So let’s get to it!
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