Comedian Hasan Minhaj is on a winning streak.
He has been a Senior Correspondent for The Daily Show since 2014. He recently delivered the most hilarious White House Correspondent’s in recent memory.
And his new Netflix special, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King, is the best standup comedy that Netflix has to offer.
Don’t get me wrong. There are other comedians, especially Dave Chappelle, that will make you cry with laughter just as hard as Hasan Minhaj can
But Homecoming King is unique, powerful, and incredible because this stand-up special isn’t just jokes. It’s more than just comedy.
Homecoming King will enlighten, educate, disturb, inspire, and tickle you all at the same time. No other Neflix Special make you sad and make you laugh the way that Homecoming King will.
Minhaj is an Indian-American Muslim who was born and raised in Davis, California. With his newfound success as a stand-out comedian, he is one of the most well-known, well-liked, and influential Muslim voices in American culture right now.
And with his first Netflix special, he uses that huge platform to paint a vivid picture of what it was like growing up in a post-911-United States both as an immigrant, as a Muslim, and as a person of color.
Homecoming King is different from most other stand-up specials, because Hasan Minhaj pours his heart, his soul, his struggles, his highs, his lows, and his most heartbreaking moments into this set—all while making you laugh the entire way through.
He gets into the pressures and pains of being one of the only brown faces at his high school, trying his best to fit in, facing pressures of living up to the expectations of his immigrant parents, and coming face-to-face with racist attacks from his peers.
He vividly walks you through a heart-wrenching experience with racism that occurred when his high school crush—a white girl named Bethany from Nebraska—asked him to be her date to senior prom. He showed up to his her house on prom night, only to have her parents explain that Bethany was going with a different date because having Hasan take her to the prom “wouldn’t look good for the photos.”
Then he goes on to paint a picture of the horrible backlash he and his family faced as Muslims living in America in the direct aftermath of September 11th, 2001. The intensity of it truly got real for them when fellow students made threatening calls to his family’s house, called them “sandn*ggers” over the phone, actually showed up to his house, and broke all the windows of his car.
His narration of all these moments is tragic, raw, real, intense, and emotional. But somehow he keeps it hilarious and uplifting at the same time.
What makes this special unique is, Hasan doesn’t just depress you with his life-struggles. He keeps you dying with laughter throughout the entire piece. And he inspires you with his narration of overcoming these heartbreaks, finding big success as a comedian, and finding the strength to forgive his high school crush who turned her back on him due to racist pressure from her parents.
Homecoming King is hilarious, painful, uplifting, and enlightening at the same time.
I walked into this special expecting only to laugh. But instead, Hasan also put me in the shoes of growing up as an Indian-American of Muslim faith in America. Hearing him narrate the darkest moments of his experiences is heartbreaking. But it ultimately inspires by demonstrating that it’s possible to overcome what he went through and succeed on a massive level.
And it’s just downright funny.
With Homecoming King, Hasan fulfills his true duty as a comedian.
Being a comedian, from the outside looking in, seems very straightforward. But truth be told, the comic’s role in our society runs much, much deeper than telling jokes.
A comic’s true profession is to unite, inspire, connect, enlighten, educate, motivate, and lift us up through laughter, joy, and thought-provoking social and political commentary that forces us to think.
It’s 2017. People no longer trust news outlets as their main source for information anymore.
The public, myself included, is relying more and more on comedians to educate, inform, enlighten, inspire, and motivate us as well as make us laugh and keep us entertained. Political satire comics who keep the masses politically informed like Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, and Samantha Bee are more popular than ever.
The comedian has become a source of truth and inspiration for the world.
And Homecoming King is no exception to that.
That’s why if you have an hour to spare and a Netflix account, I absolutely recommend that you watch Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King before you check out anything else!
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