Title: Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
Fix: Intellectual comedy about love, family, and sense of identity
Comic Hasan Minhaj of The Daily Show shares personal stories about racism, immigrant parents, prom night horrors and more in this stand-up special.
I find it tough to recommend comedians, because most people are pretty picky about their humor. We know what we like but it can be hard to pin that into precise concepts. I went through a phase last year where I was scouring all of Netflix’s stand-up specials. I’d give each one a few minutes and if it was all penis jokes or confusing LOUD with funny, BAM. Thumbs-down rating. I was drunk on power. I was the emperor from Gladiator. But for this one, I never even considered hitting that button.
I actually had no idea who Hasan Minhaj was before watching his special, but his blend of humor and dayum-that-was-deep moments won me over. He went for the funny—the story about how he met his younger sister was so good—but he wasn’t afraid to be vulnerable, like when he talked about the racism his family experienced after 9/11 and his dad’s pragmatic approach to it, or his hilarious until it turned heartbreaking story about his “white princess” prom date. My brother-from-another-mother’s parents immigrated from Guyana before he was born, and there is so much about Hasan’s life that I’ve seen from his family or heard relayed from his early childhood that rang true.
(I swear he doesn’t normally look so crazy, but I could not get a better shot of him; the guy is always in motion during this stand-up.)
You may recognize Hasan from his stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show. He was apparently the last person Stewart hired before he retired from the show, so he's got the Jon stamp of approval.
Couch-Sharing Capability: High
I watched this alone but I could’ve used a friend to laugh along with and to share that nod of solidarity. Obviously you will need to vet which friends would appreciate this type of humor (he definitely leans left) and invite accordingly. Those easily offended by language and harsh truths need not apply.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low
You might need some sympathy shots when he relays those second-hand embarrassing moments, but I think overall you’d want to be sober to catch all the little moments.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent
Don’t take just my word for it—apparently lots of other Netflix watchers also enjoyed this comedy special, because Netflix announced earlier this month that they’ve won the rights (in a bidding war with Comedy Central) to a 32 episode order for Hasan’s self-produced weekly comedy talk show, describing it as an “opportunity for the comedian to explore the modern cultural and political landscapes with depth and sincerity” which is exactly the tagline I should have come up with.