If the driving force of life is not irony then how does one explain a Muslim comedian of Indian origin roasting the US President during the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner that took place on Saturday night?
The irony is not lost on Hasan Minhaj, comedian extraordinaire who roasted the Trump administration and American media to a char during the event. As he said, "Who would have thought, with everything going on in the country right now, that a Muslim would be standing on this stage?"
Ever since Donald Trump decided to run for President, he has been the butt of literally every kind of joke. But this routine was special, not just because Minhaj did not mince his words but also because he became the first Muslim and South Asian American to have headlined the WHCA dinner. Talking about the WHCA event, he said, "I would say it is an honour to be here but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one wanted to do this, so of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant. That's how it always goes down. No one wanted this gig. No one."
The 31-year-old who blasted everyone he could recall, is a senior correspondent with The Daily Show. Minhaj's parents, who hail from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, immigrated to California and he was born there in 1985. He graduated from the University of California and majored in Political Science. Chris Rock's show Never Scared inspired him to do comedy writing. He has also done a couple of television roles including Arrested Development and Disaster Date. In 2013 Minhaj even hosted his own web series, The Truth With Hasan Minhaj.
Minhaj was then hired by Jon Stewart for the Tonight Show in 2014 and continues to appear in the show, which is now hosted by Trevor Noah. His segments are called 'Hasan The Record' and 'Halal Things Considered'. Minhaj mostly addresses issues of discrimination, racism, and violence against Muslims.
His Off-Broadway show, Homecoming King, is going to debut on Netflix later this month. NDTV calls him a performer, just like Aziz Ansari and Riz Ahmed, who is aiming to "reclaim [his] Muslim heritage from post-9/11 stereotypes and instead offer a richer view of navigating two cultures."
"No one wanted to do this, so of course it lands in the hands of an immigrant. That's how it always goes down."
Minhaj's WHCA routine was in sync with the kind of comedy he is known for. Right after Trump was elected, Minhaj said on the Daily Show With Trevor Noah, "Trevor, like many Americans I've spent the last 12 hours refreshing the Canadian immigration website, which keeps crashing. So, I am panicking, because melanin doesn't rub off." Watch the segment here:
When Trump announced a ban on travellers arriving from certain Muslim countries, Minhaj took him down in his own unique style, on a segment of Hasan The Record:
In this segment on the Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Minhaj and Noah decide that Donald Trump is maybe, the 'White ISIS':
"Remember election night? That was your Steve Harvey-Miss Universe moment."
Minhaj took some time off from roasting the Trump administration at the WHCA dinner to rip apart media houses such as Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. He pointed out, "Remember election night? That was your Steve Harvey-Miss Universe moment. The look on your faces at 11pm on election night!"
He continued addressed the press and said, "You gotta be twice as good. You can't make any mistakes, because when one of you messes up he blames your entire group... And now you know what it feels like to be a minority." He ended his routine in a more sombre note, stating the importance of free speech in a democracy. Minhaj mentioned that only in a country like America can a first-generation Indian-American Muslim kid could get on stage and make fun of the President.
"Donald Trump doesn't care about free speech. The man who tweets everything that enters his head refuses to acknowledge the amendment that allows him to do it."
Not mincing his words he added, "But the president didn't show up. Because Donald Trump doesn't care about free speech. The man who tweets everything that enters his head refuses to acknowledge the amendment that allows him to do it. Think about it, it's almost — what is it, 11? It's 11 pm right now. In 4 hours, Donald Trump will be tweeting about how bad Nicki Minaj bombed at this dinner, and he'll be doing it completely sober."
You can watch Minhaj roasting everyone in the Trump administration from the leader of the pack, Donald Trump and his aides Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, to even Ivanka Trump here: