“Comedian” Hasan Minhaj’s lies are nothing close to the hyperbole and exaggeration we expect in the comedic trade.
This toxic liar uses fake anecdotes for something more than laughs. Laughs are his secondary goal. His primary goal is to smear Americans as racist, including specific individuals (like a white girl who did not stand him up for homecoming), as he paints himself as a righteous crusader and victim.
My colleague Warner Todd Huston wrote:
Minhaj relays several stories during his show. To name a few, he has claimed that a white girl refused to go to a high school homecoming dance with him, tells the tale of a “brother Eric” who infiltrated a mosque for the FBI, and even told the harrowing tale of an envelope with “white powder” in it spilling all over his daughter.
He also tells the story of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner arrogantly sitting in a chair reserved for a formerly imprisoned Saudi activist at a Time 100 gala in 2019. He now admits that never happened.
At long last, Minhaj has admitted that none of these stories of discrimination ever happened, though he tells them on stage and on TV as if they are real.
“Every story in my style is built around a seed of truth,” Minhaj rationalized. “My comedy… is 70 percent emotional truth and then 30 percent hyperbole, exaggeration, fiction.”
He added that “emotional truth is first. The factual truth is secondary.”
No, no, no, no, no…
That’s not how comedy works, at least not until now… Comedy starts with truth. From there, you exaggerate and hyperbolize, not just to attract laughs but to paint a picture in people’s minds, to pull them into the scene, to earn their empathy.
Bill Cosby became world famous telling stories about his childhood in the projects. His 27-minute masterpiece, To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With (1968), is full of hyperbole (“…walls so thin you could hear a fly in the other room crawling on it. … We had never seen the belt, but we had heard about it. The belt was nine feet long, eight feet wide, and it had hooks on it, and it would rip the meat off your body if it ever hit you.”) But it’s based on the simple truth of what it’s like to be a kid sharing a bedroom with a sibling.
Does anyone believe Sam Kinison counted on the bumps of highway reflectors to wake him up so he could sleep while driving to Las Vegas? Well, maybe. And that maybe is what makes it true because we do know Kinison was capable of thinking that way, of considering such a thing in real life.
George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Woody Allen… When they exaggerate, we 1) know they are exaggerating a truth, and 2) they are almost always the butt of the joke. One of the best examples is Pryor talking about shooting a car. It happened, sure. It’s a heightened reality, sure. But the reality is what’s key.
Hasan Minhaj’s lies are a violation of comedic tradition. He’s not a comedian spinning an anecdote or universal truth into gold.
His lies are such a violation of comedic tradition the left-wing New Yorker called him out.
Hasan Minhaj is a bully abusing his status to puff himself up as a virtuous victim at the expense of other people, real people—including all Americans.
The good news is this…
Minhaj is in the market for examples of American racism, and there’s so little of it he has to invent it.
That’s how great the American people are and what a vile, sniveling, lying sack of cruelty Minhaj is.
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