If you’re not familiar with comedian, writer, actor, producer, and commentator Hasan Minhaj, you must be living under a rock. Minhaj is coming to the Adrienne Arsht Center on Friday, September 17, as part of his King’s Jester Tour. (Heads up: The event is billed as a phone-free experience, so the use of phones, smartwatches, and accessories will not be permitted.)
Minhaj’s career is as well-rounded as they come. He spent time as a writer on The Daily Show before going on to host his own Netflix show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, which won a Peabody Award in 2019. The combo of his show, writing, and comedy earned him a spot on Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” list that same year.
Patriot Act came at the perfect time for people who needed a switch from the 24-hour news cycle. The show tackled topics like student loans, fentanyl, the American and Indian elections, censorship, and Amazon. Using relevant themes, Minhaj put everything going on in the world into perspective in a way that was relatable for millennial and Gen Z audiences. Over six seasons, Minhaj's manner allowed him to reach a global audience and maximize his fanbase. (Unfortunately, Netflix canceled Patriot Act in 2020.)
Beyond his work on television, Minjah has been winning over audiences as a stand-up comedian. His one-man show, Homecoming King, debuted in 2015 and was so well received, Netflix turned it into his first stand-up special. (The special also earned Minhaj his first Peabody, in 2018.) It’s filled with a mix of life in this new-school world and his everyday life as the child of immigrant parents in America.
He shares personal stories about growing up Indian-American and delves into topics like his marriage, his “secret sister,” life after 9/11 for a Muslim kid, “racist conception,” the days of “firing up the internet like cavemen,” and his excitement in meeting Jon Stewart. Pooling from his past and pushing forward, Minhaj went from an “awkward Indian kid” (his words) to the stylish and confident man we see today. His life and its trials and tribulations might be completely different from yours, yet his material resonates.
Good comedians will make you laugh, but great comedians don't merely produce cheap giggles. They leave their audience with a piece of who they are. That's what Minhaj does — he's incredibly engaging and a masterful storyteller.
If you haven’t seen Minhaj live on stage, you're in for a treat. His vulnerability, honesty, and fearlessness push him beyond your standard comic. One can only imagine what he'll will touch on during his performance at the Arsht Center after everything that's transpired over the past 17 months.
Hasan Minhaj. 7 p.m. Friday, September 17, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $45 to $95.