One of the crazier aspects of modern culture is the pressure placed on today’s comedians.
Tell the “wrong” joke or poke fun at the “wrong” target and you better apologize, and fast.
Just ask Dave Chappelle, who endured a sizable attack on his career for telling trans jokes. He nearly lost his Netflix special, “The Closer,” watched distributors flee his unnamed documentary and got canceled by a legendary Minneapolis club.
Oh, and an audience member attacked him on stage.
The man accused of attacking comedian Dave Chappelle on stage at the Hollywood Bowl while carrying a replica gun that contained a switchblade pleaded not guilty today to four misdemeanor counts https://t.co/OuXZY6Hinr
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) May 6, 2022
Comedians deserve the creative space to say what they want in pursuit of a laugh. That isn’t Hasan Minhaj’s prime directive.
The far-left comic uses humor to score political points, via his short-lived Netflix series “Patriot Act” or stand-up routines. It turns out he’s been spinning some tall tales along the way according to a New Yorker expose, something he defended as “emotional truths.”
Fellow comic Andrew Schulz found that hilarious.
The “Flagrant” podcast host skewered Minhaj on his latest episode, explaining the difference between a comedian’s creative expression and just making bleep up. The comic, along with co-host Akaash Singh, immediately brought up the comic’s scandal.
“How do we even know that’s how he pronounces his name?” Schulz asked in mock seriousness. “I think that his name is 70 percent emotionally true.”
“My comedy Arnold Palmer is 70 percent emotional truth — this happened — and then 30 percent hyperbole, exaggeration, fiction,” Minhaj infamously said.
Schulz was just warming up.
“You’re gonna get these f***ing jokes. You deserve it,” Schulz said of Minhaj.
The podcaster noted a key difference between a comedian embellishing a story and Minhaj’s methods.
“Usually we [lie] to make things funnier, not make things more racist, or sad or emotional,” he said. “It’s not like he’s been using these exaggerations or hyperbole as punchlines. He was using them to make the audience feel worse about him. And it turns out these things didn’t actually happen.”
Singh then brought up Minhaj’s lie about his disastrous prom experience. The girl in question initially accepted his invitation to prom, but when he showed up at the door she was standing there with another date. The comedian claimed her parents disapproved of him being brown and made her accept another invite.
“Not only are my parents not racist, I’m married to an Indian,” Singh said, echoing the woman’s rebuttal to Minhaj for publicly calling her out from the stage.
It got worse.
Minhaj told enough details about the woman in question that her family subsequently received death threats for allegedly being racist.
“This is the problem when you lie in your specials,” Schulz said in mock seriousness. “That girl had to marry an Indian so that people wouldn’t think she was racist.”
Singh added another disturbing element to the story. He says Minhaj told him that prom story personally, away from the stage and klieg lights.
“I’m talking like 2012, bro and I used to be friends,” Singh explained. “Of all the reasons I don’t f*** with this guy, this wasn’t one of them.”
“Plenty of us exaggerate things in our jokes,” Schulz said, detailing one of his jokes that got massaged from an actual event to tighten the humor. “We change these things to make parts of the joke funnier. It’s Jussie Smollett when you’re lying about victimization.”
Smollett infamously said he was attacked by Trump fans on a bitterly cold Chicago night nearly four years ago, a story that ended up being declared fake in a court of law.
“If you realize that none of this is true, the whole thing is hilarious,” Singh added. “This is the greatest comic ever, I think!”
Schulz wasn’t alone in mocking Minhaj following the New Yorker investigation.
“Hasan Minhaj lying about his kid getting sprayed with anthrax is the funniest thing he’s ever done,” comedy podcasters Haus of Decline said. “Also, it’s so funny to make a huge part of your persona about fighting Islamophobia and then you’re like ‘The freakin’ Saudis sent me anthrax cause that’s the type of shit they’re on!’”
Wait are they saying he DIDN’T accidentally spill anthrax powder on his baby while opening a terror envelope as he claimed and we ALL believed?! https://t.co/XtoQ6xGDG8
— Kurt Metzger (@kurtmetzger) September 15, 2023