Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (2017) – Transcript

Comic Hasan Minhaj of "The Daily Show" shares personal stories about racism, immigrant parents, prom night horrors and more in this stand-up special.

[theme music: orchestral hip-hop]

[crowd roars]

What’s up? Davis, what’s up? I’m home. I had to bring it back here. Netflix said, “Where do you want to do the special? LA, Chicago, New York?” I was like, “Nah, son. Davis California.”

[cheering, whooping]

This has, um… This has been a very good year for me. I recently got married, you guys. Thank you, thank you. Thank you. I need the claps. It’s a very heavy ring. Very heavy. It was a reverse Lord of the Rings situation. I got a ring and then lost my powers, which is a very different Lord of the Rings. “Listening? Compromise? Take the ring, Sam.” The movie is done in eight minutes. It’s not a 90-hour saga. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary, so it’s one year down, forever to go. Which is terrifying to say. But you know what’s great? Now, it’s just kind of liberating. Because I don’t give a fuck about any of my single friends. I don’t care about any of you and it feels great. Because you guys are at home, just swiping for love, and complaining. “Oh, how do you find people?” “Dimples? Off with his head!” Like a god-damn emperor. “Brunettes? Not for me.” I’m like, “You work at Subway. You don’t deserve so much choice.” We’re getting soft.

You realize my parents physically never saw each other? Thirty years ago in a town in India, population 990,000 — that’s a small town — my dad heard a buzz in the streets about this woman named Seema, my mom. And, like, Seema was that chick, you guys. In ’82, Seema could get… Look at that red langa. Killing it! She was like the iPhone 8. “Have you heard of Seema? She’s slim. Her family owns a camera.” My dad was like, “A camera?” So he runs to my grandfather’s house and lays it on the line. “I’m going to America. I want to marry Seema. YOLO.” In ten minutes, the man married a woman he had never laid eyes on. You understand? That’s Tinder with no photos.


“I want that for the rest of my life. I hope she has a good personality. Let’s move to the US where we’re the only people that know each other.” I’m so grateful for that decision. Najmi marries Question Mark, they come to the States, I come out. Popping out of your mom is like real estate. It’s all about location. I popped out here. Anybody br0wn, we popped out here, we made it. We’re the rappers that made it. What’s wild is, I never even knew how the whole X-Men Origins story went down. It’s crazy, because we know nothing about our parents and our parents know nothing about us. “Dad, your favorite color?” “Stanford!” “What? No.” “No, I want to know more about you.” “Why? Get into Stanford.”

And I think it’s just that, like, immigrants love secrets. Right? They love them. They love bottling them up deep down, and unleashing them on you later when it’s no longer relevant. “Mom’s a ninja, Dad’s a communist? Why are you telling me this right now?” Every conversation with my dad is like an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It’s just 90 minutes of build-up to no payoff.

[laughs and applause]

“That’s the ending?”

So my dad marries my mom, they come to the States, they have me, in Davis, California, but my mom has to go back to India to finish up med school. So the first eight years, it was just me and my dad. Just the two of us trying to make it in America. Minus all the unconditional love. Br0wn love is very conditional. In the photo he’s like, “You had better get all As.” Like, let’s be real. I grew up here. Like, Pioneer… I grew up here. Yeah.

[huge cheer]

But Davis was, like, super white. Kind of like tonight.


Roll call was a problem. It was a big deal for a lot of us.

Like, what’s your name?

Jasura. Okay. What would you get?


Jasuriah? Yeah. I would get, like, “Hanson Minaja…” “Sahan Minha.” “Saddam Hussein.” It was my English teacher. “I’m not Saddam.”

What’s your name?


What would you get?

A blank stare. A blank stare? I’m the only br0wn kid at school, Dad is the only br0wn guy at work. In a weird way that brings us together, and we have to do everything together. Try to understand immigrant fathers.

I still can’t understand some of you. There are uncles here. None of you guys are smiling. I don’t get it. You’re going to die. Laugh. Why aren’t you laughing? You’re always stressed and always tired. You could wake up any immigrant father from a 12-hour nap, and they’d say… [angry yawn] “Why do I have to pay taxes?” You’re like, “Jesus…” We’d do everything…

I remember being in the grocery store. And we’d be walking through the aisles, and my dad would pick up yogurt. “Ah, yogurt.” Or milk. Just like, “Ah.” And I’d look at him and be like, “Oh, man. Dad hates yogurt.” [laughter] “He hates milk.” But I get that look, now. Life is tough and sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing. He has a little kid and I’m not making his life any easier. I’m picking up soda and I’m like, “Ah!” “Don’t do that.” “I’m going to live forever!” Then I would trip on my Velcro shoes and I would drop the soda and it would explode. And then my dad would do what most br0wn parents do. He would check to see if the coast is clear… and he’d slap the shit out of me.


I love it. Thank you. Thank you. Pockets were acknowledging that. And for the liberal white guilt, immigrants aren’t going to hit their children the way you do. Americans hit on the arm and bruise the body. Immigrants slap your face and bruise your soul. It’s Guantanamo of the mind. And I know some of you guys are like, “Hey, this is Davis, okay? I listen to NPR. Ira Glass says children are our future.”

Have you seen the show called The Slap? This is a real show on NBC. This is a real show about a white kid that gets slapped at a birthday party. Are you fucking kidding? Thirteen episodes for this kid? Are you kidding me? Do you know when br0wn kids get slapped? Every br0wn birthday party. And usually it’s the kid whose birthday it is, and we stand there and point and laugh. We go, “Ah, Biju got slapped on his birthday!” And that’s what makes us tough and resilient. It’s why we become cardiologists and win spelling bees. Slapping is important. It elevates your game.

You ever seen an Indian kid win a spelling bee? Incredible! Ice water in the veins. [laughter] That kid won’t choke on camera. He’s been slapped on camera.

Of course he can spell “knaidel”.


Look at that face. Nothing. Nothing! He’s 12 years old. Nothing! This kid just won $30,000 cash. Nothing. People ask, “Where does that come from?” Look at this kid’s parents. Your son just won the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Look at his brother. His brother is like, “I’m fucked. I’m fucked. The bar is way too high. I should kill myself.” People say, “Where’s Bobby Jindal from?” That’s where he comes from. That is an Indian sociopath. [raucous laughter]

I know what happens when I talk about this. People say, “Your parents don’t love you.” I think our parents love us. We have great fathers. I just think our fathers didn’t download all the great dad software. There are just a few apps missing. Birthdays aren’t their thing. Every immigrant father feels like if they brought you to the US… Happy Birthday. Starbucks, Wi-Fi, freeways, happy birthday. No more birthdays. Go be president. At an interview, this lady said, “Describe your earliest birthday memory.” I was like, “Do I have to?” So I’m six, I’m turning seven. My dad wakes me up super early in the morning. “Hasan, get up! Get in the Camry.” The immigrant car of choice. We get in the Camry, we’re driving from Davis to Sacramento. There’s one mall in the entire area. Arden. We get to this intersection, and I look to my left, and it’s the one place every kid dreams about. Toys ‘R’ Us. I was like, “Oh, shit! Dad saw the Toys ‘R’ Us catalog on my wall. He saw my vision board. He saw the blue BMX bike I wanted. He’s here to surprise me. Turn left. Turn left. Turn… left.” Then he turns right, and I’m like, “Home Depot? No!” I’m like, “Why are we here? Do you know what day it is?” “It’s Saturday.” “No, it’s my birthday. Did you forget?” He’s like, “Hasan, how could I forget that it’s your birthday? That’s why I brought you here. So you could pick the door handle for the bathroom.” [laughter] And I was like, “Why don’t you have me pick out the toilet? You are shitting on my dreams.” I didn’t say that. I would have gotten a slap. I wanted to say that.

That’s when I realized there’s a generational gap between us and our parents. You’re going to fight with your parents, and there’s a finite number of hands you can play. You know about this. Not going to be a doctor? That’s a hand. Marry a white girl? Boom! That’s a big hand.

[laughter, applause]

I could have been like, “Dad, fight me. I want that bike.” But I was like, “Hang on to your cards. You’ll need them later.” Like, I had vision as a six-year-old. And my mom, she would come and visit, and just kill the mom game. One year, she came to school and brought me a Ghostbusters proton pack. The wheelie thing, the backpack, the gun that catches ghosts… Literally shut Pioneer down. Kids were losing their minds. “What? Saddam Hussein’s a Ghostbuster?” “Yeah, I’m a br0wn Ghostbuster. Deal with it.” One of the happiest days of my life. But then she would go back to India. That’s when I realized I don’t want a toy. I just want my mom. I want to be a family. I was very emo. I was like Drake. I missed that girl. “When is she coming back? I need her in my life. I need her. I need that girl. I need that girl in my life. I need her, Dad. She used to call me on my phone.” My dad’s like, “When the visa comes through.” “When the visa comes through.”

It’s a big deal. I don’t care what anyone says. It’s difficult to get in this country. It’s not like a broken condom where you’re like, “I’m in!” [laughter] Eight years. August 11th, 1993. I’m so excited. I put on my Ghostbusters proton pack. I’m standing there. Dad goes, “Put on Indian clothes.” I’m like, “Alright. I can be an Indian ghostbuster.” I put on a Salwar Kameez. I’m standing there. Door opens. Dad walks through. Mom walks through. And then immediately behind my mom, is this little br0wn girl with a mushroom cut. She runs up to me and hugs me. “Hasan bhai!” And I’m in full hover-hands mode, because I have no idea who this person is. What happened was, my dad would go back and forth to India to visit my mom, and during one trip he knocked her up.

[shocked laughter]

And I had a sister. But no one told me about it.

[uproarious laughter]

Remember how I told you that immigrants love secrets? This is a secret that nobody told me! He says, “Hug her.” “You brought her out like Maury for immigrants.” “Hasan, you are the brother.” I’m like, “No, no!” She was breakdancing, and I’m like, “Who the fuck are you?” “You don’t know me?” “I’ve no idea who you are.” I hated that br0wn girl so much. I was like, “Build that wall.” I was like a little Republican. I was like, “I get it.” I remember leveling with my parents at the dinner table. “Look, Mom, Dad, let’s just be real. Oh, my God, these br0wn people… Oh, jeez. Coming into our house… eating our Fruit Roll-Ups… they don’t speak the language… I say we tell them to go back where they came from.” He’s like, “You can’t say that. We’re family.” I’m like, “No, that’s on you and Mom. You guys decided to get your Angelina Jolie on, and bring over this FOB. That’s on you, that’s not on me.” Why do you do this to your daughters? Every single br0wn mother makes your daughter quinceañera dress, chop cuts. Why? Princess from here down, Toad from here up. I’ve got this shit following me around on the playground. “Hasan bhai!” I’m like, “Yo, kick rocks!” I go play tetherball. “Hasan bhai!” “Get lost!” Eventually, I run to the boys’ bathroom. She follows me into the bathroom. “Hasan bhai!” All the kids at the urinal are like, “Uh! What’s Hasan-bye?” I went to school with a bunch of Ryan Lochtes. Just all traps. [slow, stupid voice] “Uh, I don’t understand other cultures, bro. What is that? What does it mean?” It’s a term of endearment in my culture, meaning “brother”. “Shut up, Cody!” I took that anger and channeled it at her. I was like, “Hey! You’re not my sister.” [gasps in audience] But she couldn’t understand English.

[laughter, applause]

But she got what I was saying. She starts crying and runs out. I was like, “No! She’s going to tell Dad.” Let’s focus on what’s important here. But she didn’t.

And my dad… It was her first birthday in the US. She was turning five. So for her first birthday, he wanted it to be special. I can imagine being a father, missing your daughter’s first steps, her first time saying “Dada…” That’s a hard thing. So for her birthday, he brings everyone into the living room. He drags in this big box and goes, “Aisha, open the box.” She cuts open the box and unfurls one of the flaps, and I see “Toys ‘R’ Us” emblazoned on one of the flaps. And he reaches in, and pulls out a beautiful, blue BMX bike.

[audience gasps]

“Here you go, Aisha.” He looks at me. “Happy Birthday.”

[shocked laughter, booing]

Savage, right? I’m livid. I’m like, “Yo, when did Home Depot Dad become Danny Tanner? This is bullshit. Really?” I’m livid. And Aisha senses it. She’s like, “Hasan bhai, why don’t you take it out?” And as an elder brother, I felt entitled to that bike. “That’s my bike. Thank you.”

Younger siblings, you guys are worthless. You bring nothing to the table. I see you getting mad. “Hell, no. I have a personality.” Where do you think you got that from, dummy? Us. Clothes, culture, money. “Whoa! I have opinions.” No, you don’t. And then you have the audacity to be, like, “Hey, why are you so melodramatic?” Because I went to war for you. Mom and Dad was my Vietnam. And you’re like, “Everybody loves me.” It’s such bullshit, right? Elder siblings, we walk through the world like, “Do people love me?” And you’re like, “Mom and Dad fucked up with you, not with me.” [shocked laughter] She’s like, “Take it for one lap around the block.” [speaking Hindi] I grab those handlebars, I’m like, “Fuck that noise.” Boom. I take off. She’s like, “Hasan bhai, come back!” I’m like, “Eat my dust, immigrant.” I’m flying. I see a curb. I’m about to pop a wheelie. The bike goes left, I go right. And that beautiful blue BMX bike… Bam! It crashes into the cement. All the paint is chipped off the right side of the bike. I pick it up, and it’s destroyed. I hear the patter of her chappals. She’s crying, “Hasan bhai, why would you do this?” Animé tears of innocence. “Why? I gave you the first ride.” And I’m looking down at her, and I’m like, “Man… I’m being a dick.” Like, this whole time I was looking for acceptance from Cody, Corey and Cole… [laughter] and I had it right here this entire time. I’m supposed to be her big brother, help her navigate the American dream and protect her. And I’m out here stealing her bike? This is fucked up. And Aisha hates that story. She’s always like, “Oh, my God, you are so melodramatic. You make me sound like a refugee baby.” That’s true. I’m doing that right now. It’s not fair, because she’s not a refugee. And, like, she learned English. She went to an Ivy League law school. She does mergers and acquisitions now. She is the one percent.

Meanwhile, I… I didn’t go to grad school. I became a comedian. This is what I do. And then, when it came time for me to get married, I got married to a girl from a Hindu family. I heard an audible “Oh!” Alright. Fuck. I heard you go, like, “Ugh!” I didn’t punch you. Damn!

So some of you guys don’t know. Hindus and Muslims are like the Montagues and Capulets of India. We’ve been warring for centuries. You’re like, “What’s the difference? You look the same.” So how do I explain this? Hindus and Muslims. So Hindus… Hindus don’t eat beef. “No beef!” Right? And Muslims, we don’t eat pork. “Is that pepperoni pizza? No. No pepperoni!” And then Hindus, they like statues. They’re like, “Oh! This is a statue of an elephant. I’m going to put this in my car.”

[laughter, applause]

Muslims are like, “No statues! Calligraphy! We’re about the alphabet. We put that in our car. We’re different.” And then Hindus, they like cartoons. They’re like, “Oh, this is a cartoon Ganesh. I’ll just put this on the wall.” And Muslims… we don’t really, uh, like cartoons. We’ve got to get better about our cartoon policy. Because of this we’ve been killing each other for centuries. And I know the older generation doesn’t like those jokes. “Pakistan was created because of this reason.” I know, but… I convinced my dad. “Dad, I love her, she loves me. Isn’t there something bigger that unites all of us outside of race, color, creed, class? This is America. We can choose what we want to adhere from the motherland. Isn’t life like biryani, where you push the weird shit to the side? Why do we got to adhere to this weird shit from back over there? He agrees. He’s like, “That’s a good point. Fine. You should get married.” That’s a Hall of Fame br0wn dad decision. There’s br0wn dads here, like, “If my son did that, I would shoot myself and then shoot him.” He says yes. We rally the troops, Me, Mom, Dad, Aisha, we get in the Camry, we’re driving to my fiancée’s house. And we’re about to pull up and we get to the door, and my dad is about to ring the doorbell, when he says the sentence that is the killer of every br0wn kid’s dream. He goes, “I don’t think we should do this. Log kya kahenge?

[audience gasps]

“What will people think?” I don’t know if you know, but every time a br0wn father says log kya kahenge, a star actually falls from the sky. [laughter] “I don’t want to be a doctor!” “Log kya kahenge!” No! “I don’t want to marry!” “Log kya kahenge!” Why? I bet you, when Mahatma Gandhi told his parents he was going to liberate India, even they were like, “Log kya kahenge! “Stop marching. The British are going to talk shit about us. Why are you bald and skinny? You’re never going to get married.” And I’m standing there… on that doorstep.

[applause, cheering]

Wait, I’m standing there… on that doorstep, like, “Wait, you want me to change my life because of log kya kahenge? Come on, Dad. How many times do we complain about racism in our community? All the time. Now the ball is in our court, we’re going to be bigoted? Dad, I promise you, God doesn’t like bigotry. God’s not like, ‘You’re racist. Good job.’ No! Number two, you want me to change my life to appease some aunty and uncle I’m never going to see? You want me to change my life for Naila Aunty? Fuck Naila Aunty. Are you fucking kidding me? My life?” But I can’t say that. Because I’ve played all my cards. So I can’t say anything. Now I’m losing hope. I’m, like, “Maybe this is bigger than me. Why can’t I put my head down and do what I’m supposed to do? This ain’t Jodhaa Akbar.” Have you ever been trapped by the time you live in? It’s been going on for centuries. So I’m walking back to the Camry, then I hear a voice behind me. “Oh, my God. You guys do this all the time.” And it is Aisha, and she is pissed. And she’s like, “Dad, I did not fly out from Philly for this.” [laughter] “Beena is so legit. She has a PhD. Hasan bhai is a comedian.”

[laughter, applause, whooping]

“No one is going to marry him. Get him married before she changes her mind.” She stepped up. She laid down one of her cards for me. She Phil Jacksoned that situation. She got all these people working together. Because of her, I got to marry the love of my life. Because of my sister. I can’t believe it.

[rapturous applause]

For years I resented that br0wn girl. I hated her. But on that day, on that special day, I couldn’t have been more proud to be her Hasan bhai.

[applause, whistling]


[huge applause]

[applause fades]

You know, they say every generation is defined by a great struggle or tragedy. And it’s wild that our kids will never know there was a period in time in this country where you had to make a choice between being on the internet or being on the phone. [laughter] They won’t get it, dude. You’ll never get it. You don’t get it, man. You won’t. That was our World War I, man. Especially in middle school, if a girl called the house, you had to pick up the phone before your parents. We used to have landlines. It’s like phones connected to the land. And one time in middle school a girl called the house. My dad picked it up before me. “Hello, who is this?” “Hi, it’s Alice. Is Hasan there?” “What you want, Alice?” I was like, “I’m going to die a virgin.” “I’m in Geometry with Hasan. I had a question. Can I ask him the question?” He’s like, “Okay, Alice. Why don’t you ask me the question, then I’ll ask Hasan?” That’s the way our parents are. Ages zero through 30, “No girls!” At 35, “Why can’t you talk to girls?” That’s basically it. “Ah, you kill me!”

[applause, whooping]

That’s the way our parents are, right? Our parents are like a firewall to the outside world. They disseminate information to us. It’s like living in North Korea. My dad is the leader of the household. So when 9-11 happened I was in high school. My dad sits everybody down. He’s like, “Hasan, whatever you do, do not tell people you’re Muslim or talk about politics.” “Alright, Dad, I’ll just hide it. This just rubs off.” We’re sitting there. Phone rings. I run, but my dad beats me to the phone. “Hello?” I grab the second phone. I hear a voice. “Hey, you sand n*gger, where’s Osama?”

[audience gasps]

He looks at me. “You can hear me, right? You fucking dune coon. Where’s Osama?” “Hey, 2631 Regatta Lane, that’s where you live, right? I’m going to fucking kill you.” Click. And my dad’s looking at me. Do you ever see your parents, and you see the mortality in them? I’m looking at my dad and I see all five-seven of him. And that’s when I realize I’m a darapok. I’m a scaredy-cat. We can speak two languages. We can speak at home and outside. I should have said something. I didn’t. We sit down. I hear “thud, thud, thud” outside. Me and Dad run outside and all the windows on the Camry are smashed in. My backpack’s open. “Fuck, they stole my stuff.” I reach and I pull out my backpack. Pieces of glass get caught in my arm. Now blood is gushing down my arm, and I’m pissed, I’m fucking mad. Fuck this, man! These kids know where we live, they’re timing this, so they’re watching us. So I’m looking in the trees, the bushes… I look back in the middle of the street, my dad is in the middle of the road sweeping glass out of the road like he works at a barbershop. “We’ve got customers. Log kya kahenge? We’ve got to clean this up.” Zen! Br0wn Mr Miyagi, just, like, not saying a word. I’m like, “Why aren’t you saying something? I’m asking you, say something!” He looks at me and goes, “Hasan…” [speaking Hindi] [speaking Hindi] “These things happen, and these things will continue to happen. That’s the price we pay for being here.” That’s when I was like, “We really are from two different generations.” BMX bikes aside. My dad’s from that generation where he feels like if you come to this country, you pay the American dream tax. You endure racism, and if it doesn’t cost you your life, pay it. There you go, Uncle Sam. But for me, I was born here. So I actually have the audacity of equality. I’m like, “I’m in Honors Gov, I have it right here. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. All men created equal.” It says it right here, I’m equal. I’m equal. I don’t deserve this.

[deafening applause]

But as soon as I say that… He looks at me like I believe in Santa. “Hasan, you’ll never understand.” “I’ll never understand? Dad, you’re the guy that will argue with the cashier at Costco when he doesn’t let you return used underwear. And now you want to be the bigger man? Now you’re like, ‘Let’s be reasonable with the bigots.’ What?” And then he just walks back into the house with glass in his feet. And I honestly don’t know who is more right. Maybe he’s right. Put your head down. Be a doctor, get a house in the burbs, let them call them whatever you want. But isn’t it our job to push the needle forward little by little? Isn’t that how all this stuff happens? I don’t know. The pendulum swings back and forth for me. And I know 9/11 is a super touchy subject. I understand. Because when it happened, everyone in America felt like their country was under attack. But on that night, September 12th, it was the first night of so many nights where my family’s loyalty to this country was under attack. And it always sucks. As immigrants we always have to put on these press releases to prove our patriotism. We’re auditioning. “We love this country, please believe me.” Nobody loves this country more than us. I fell in love here. Six years old, Janice Malo. I saw her in the sandbox. I run up to her. First grade. “I love you!” “You’re the color of poop.” That’s memory number one. The first time you experience racism? I was like, “What? Oh, no! It’s not rubbing off!” I was fucking terrified. It was like Inception. There were so many levels. I just wanted to wake up and be like, “Oh, it was all a dream. I’m JGL. It was all a dream.” But it’s not a dream, it’s the universe telling you, “It’s a Fair and Lovely world. Navigate accordingly.” In the third grade, Miss Anderson said, “Write what you want to be.” Some kids were like, “an astronaut,” or “a firefighter.” I was like, “I want to be white.” [shocked laughter] “What do you mean?” “I want this part of my skin to be all of my skin.” And it wasn’t like, “I hate melanin.” I love melanin. I’ve never gotten a sunburn. I’m blessed.

[laughter, applause, whooping]

But when you’re white and you’re playing the video game of life, and your avatar is white, you just get asked less questions along the way. You pop out. Boom. “I want to be Batman.” “Well, of course. Batman is white. Duh!” “I want to be president.” “Duh! Forty-four-and-a-half presidents are white. We’ve had a great track record.” And I know the privilege debate is very heavy for white people. I know you guys have problems. I’ve seen Girls. [laughter] My dad did not give a shit about any of this identity stuff. His rules with me were very simple. “No fun, no girlfriends. Have fun in med school.” Which is a huge lie. It never gets popping in med school. I’ve never been to a club and seen nine dudes: “Yo, what’s going on?” “What’s going on? Residency, fam!” Never happens. “I got a career I hate from my parents.” It’s a lie. We buy into it.

So by my senior year of high school, I had yet to go to a school dance, I had been cut from the basketball team, and I had just got off this medicine called Accutane so my skin and face was peeling. I’m crushing life. Out here, killing it. No one did that. Don’t clap. No one did that for that photo. No one ever did that at my school. It’s too late. But there was one bright spot, this girl named Bethany Reed. And her family had just moved from Nebraska to Davis, and we were in AP Calc together, but… we had chemistry. She sat behind me, first day, she’s like, “Hey… what’s your AIM screen name?”


I was like, “It’s about to go down. Do you want it? I could give it to you.” Whatever I lacked in real-life game, my digital game… bananas. Status updates, away messages, sub profile, Boyz II Men. Don’t say you don’t like “Water Runs Dry”. I was a lover. Late at night on AIM, back and forth, back and forth… You guys don’t know this. Some of you guys are just in college, Snapchatting. Back in the day, we had to fire up the internet like goddamn cavemen. You know what I mean? [makes long, crackling, buzzing noise] [blows] If someone picked up the phone, “Hey, get off the phone! I’m trying to talk to somebody!” That’s how we would communicate. Late at night, back and forth, back and forth. One night she was like, “Hey, come over.” I bike over to her place, white picket fence, McMansion, Ford Expedition, Eddie Bauer edition.

[audience cheers]

“Oh, they made it!” Mrs Reed opens the door. Her father is this successful retired judge. Mrs Reed’s like, “You want br0wnies?” “Yeah. Cool.” “Hey, stay for dinner.” “We just had br0wnies, but okay.” We’re sitting there at the dinner table. And now Mrs Reed’s like, “Hey, honey, we know so much about Bethany, but we don’t know anything about you. What do you like? What are you into?” I was like, “What?”


“What do I like? Um… Nobody… Nobody has ever asked me that before.”


“I guess I like acoustic guitar.” “You should do that. You should follow your dreams.” [laughter] “Maybe I will. Maybe I will follow my dreams.” Then Bethany’s like, “Hey, we always study at my house. Why don’t we study at your house?” I was like, “I’ve got to go.” What, invite you over to my house? You walk in: “What language are you guys speaking? What’s that smell?” I’m not going to open myself up to that. But I was like, “No, she’s different.” I hit her up late at night. “Mom, Dad, a school friend is coming over. Everyone here, please be normal.” My dad is like, “We are normal.” Killing me, you know what I mean? “Hasan, we’re normal. Be proud. You should be proud.” Who is proud? No one is. You’re walking around like a rooster. I’m not proud and no one is proud. We get there. We’re sitting on my living room table. My mom and dad are arguing in Hindi. My mom is frying pakoras. The fobbiest thing ever. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is playing on Zee TV. But it’s too much. It’s all coming at this girl. It’s too much. You’ve got to ease your way in. She’s from Nebraska. Soul cycle, yoga, then Zee TV. Don’t just, like, go into it. So I’m looking at her, like, “Don’t say anything. Please don’t say anything.” She looks up from her book, and she’s like, “You know what? This is really nice. We should do this more often. This is really nice.” And I look at her, and I’m like, “Oh, my God. I love you, my white princess.” [laughter] “You see me. I don’t got to change who I am? I can be me!” So I’m going back and forth. Her house, my house. One night, we’re on the living room table. We’re doing integrals.


She closes her book. She’s like, “Hey. It’s late.” And I’m like, “It is late.” And she’s like… “I should go home.” I was like, “Yeah, you should…” Why did you say that? That was your chance. Don’t do that. I said, “Wait, let me walk you out.” So I’m walking her out. She gets in the car. I’m about to close the door. She rams her arm into the door, leans out and gives me a kiss. “I love you.” Drives off into the night. Like a fucking G! Because she knew the rules. She knew the rules. No fun, no friends, no girlfriends. All we had was that stolen moment in my driveway. You guys are like, “I was getting handjobs when I was nine.” Not me. Not this guy. Not you, not you, not you. Not us. I was like, “Are we getting married? I have to change my pants. We are definitely getting married. When is the shaadi?”


Now, my AP Calc class was a group of overachievers and my Calc teacher, Mr Pendleton, wanted us to live lives outside of school. So one day he gets up in front of the entire class. “Alright, you guys are all killing it academically but I want you to know there is more to life than just getting into UC Berkeley.” One kid was like, “I know, getting into Stanford.” He’s like, “No, you have to live a life worth talking about, which is why I’m making it mandatory for everyone in this class to go to prom.” I’m like, “All 30 of us? We’re all going to prom? AP Calc? Us? Me, Jehovah’s Witness girl, Korean exchange students, going to the prom? Thirty for 30? All of us?” I’m laughing so hard, I’m crying. He’s like, “Hanson, this is not funny.” He walks over to the board, he pulls it down. It’s a bracket with everybody’s name on it leading up to the big dance. It’s March Madness for nerds. I’m like, “Whatever, it’s not going to happen. He can’t do this.” Weeks go by. Kids start getting dates. Three days before prom he walks to the board. Last two names: Hasan Minhaj, Bethany Reed. The class goes nuts. They’re like, “Oh! They’re going to fuck!” “No, we’re not! Are we? No, no we’re not.” I look at her, “Please don’t say anything.” She says nothing, like a G. [laughter] Bell rings. I’m walking to my locker. I hear footsteps. She’s like, “Wait up.” I was like, “What’s up?” “Oh, that was crazy back there. What are the chances?” She’s like, “Listen, you know, ever since my family moved from Nebraska, you’ve been my best friend. And you’re really special to me. This year wouldn’t be the same without you. So I was wondering, will you go to prom with me?”

[applause, whooping]

I was like, “Yes, my white princess.” As soon as I said that, I was like, “No!” I had bitten off more than I could chew. “No, wait. You’ve got cards to play. You’re good. You’re a good kid. Also, remember, parents respect honesty. You’ve seen this on TV. If you go home and are honest, your parents will be like, ‘Even though I disagree with you, I respect your candor. Therefore I will grant your wish.'” I ran home, I was like, “Dad, I would like to go to prom.” [speaking Hindi] Which means, “I will break your face.” “Duly noted, father.” “Bethany, situation at home. Father doesn’t want us to go to prom. I’m going to sneak out. I live on the second story. I’m going to jump off and land on my bike. I’ll bike to your place, we dance it up, and if I die, I had a great run.” You know? You’re going to die, so put it on the tombstone. “Hasan Minhaj, 4.3 GPA, kissed a white girl.” What an amazing way to go. The night of prom rolls around. I put on the JC Penney suit. Spray on the Michael Jordan cologne. Six puffs, one for each championship. You don’t want to overkill it with the MJ cologne. Don’t be tacky. I’m scaling down the side of my roof, scraping my knees. I jump off the roof. It’s like 20 feet. I jump off, I somehow land, I get on my bike. It’s beautiful, the sun is setting, it’s one of those gorgeous evenings. And I’m biking with my knees bowed out. So my slacks don’t get caught up in the chains. Fast enough to get there, but slow enough to not get pit stains. I’m balancing the corsage. [panting] “Alright, go. Go. You’re good. You’re getting there.”

[wild applause and cheering]

I get to her house. I park my bike. I’m walking up to the doorstep, and I’m about to ring the doorbell when I’m like, “Wait. 30 second time-out. Do you understand what’s about to go down? You’re about to go to prom with Bethany motherfucking Reed.”


“This is the American dream. This is what Dad fought for.” Ding-dong. Mrs Reed opens the door. She has this look of concern. And I look over her shoulder, and I see Jeff Burke putting a corsage on Bethany’s wrist. [audience sighs] And she’s like, “Oh, my God, honey, did Bethany not tell you? Sweetie, we love you, we think you’re great. We love that you come over and study. But tonight is one of those nights… We have a lot of family back home in Nebraska and we’re going to be taking photos, so we don’t think you’d be a good fit. Do you need a ride home? Mr Reed can give you a ride home.” And I was like, “No, I have my bike.” And I just biked home and played Mario Kart. That’s the nicest I’ve ever been dressed, playing Mario Kart. [laughter] I wish I had said, “Fuck that, I’m going to the dance.” I didn’t. The sad part is, I felt bad for being there. Who was I to ruin their picture-perfect celebration? You’ve seen movies. How many times do you see that on screen? And it’s not like they were yokels yelling “sand n*gger!” I could let that pass. I’d eaten off their plates, kissed their daughter. I didn’t know that people could be bigoted even as they were smiling at you. It’s hard when you see people saying they love you but they’re afraid at the same time. And I didn’t know what that meant.


Then the following Monday, during first period she finds me. She’s like, “Everybody has been asking why we didn’t go. Please don’t say anything. It’s a generational thing. Please don’t say anything.” And I look at her. Second period rolls around like clockwork. Mr Pendleton’s like, “So, lovebirds, what happened? Everybody’s wondering.” So I’m, like, “Yeah, what happened?” Looking at her. She just looks down. Now everybody’s looking at me so I’ve got to improvise. I was like, “Yeah, you know, I decided not to go. I mean, dances are overrated. They’re a cliché. I decided not to go.” Everybody in the class looked at me. “Wow, you dick.” “You stood up the new girl? Thank God Jeff took her. You’re a dick.” That’s the last time we ever spoke. And you know, time has passed, and I don’t really think about that day. I mean, I did write a show about it, but… [laughter] like a lot of people…


[more cheering, whooping]

…you move on to different chapters of your life. You have selective memory. You’re in college. Tools, Clear History. Out of college. Tools, Clear History. Never did that. Married. Tools, Clear History. Never happened. Second marriage, Tools, Clear History. Never happened. But for the most part, I actually think about it the way my dad does. “Oh, you couldn’t go to prom with a white girl? Who gives a fuck?

At least your spine isn’t getting shattered in a police wagon, though it’s happening to African-Americans to this day. So this is a tax you have to pay? I’ll pay it. ‘I can’t date your daughter.’ I don’t give a fuck, Uncle Sam. Take it.” But then I realized, wait, hold on. Why is it every time the collateral damage has to be death, for us to talk about this? A kid has to get shot 16 times for us to be like, “Maybe we have a race problem.” For every Trayvon Martin or Ahmed the clock kid, there is bigotry that happens every day. Because we’re too afraid of the Other. Someone who’s not in our tribe. I wish I could tell 18-year-old me, “Hey, man, don’t let this experience define you. It’s good people and bad people. Irrespective of creed, class, color, find those people. Because love is bigger than fear.” I wish I could tell him that. I really believe that.

[applause, cheering]

I really believe love is bigger than fear. Fox News has taught me that. Fox News is incredible. I’ve never seen so many people with spray tans hate people of color. It is amazing. And Fox News is in New York. They’re in New York. Daily Show, Fox News, five avenues away from each other. That’s it. Professor X, Magneto, that close. Every day I walk past their building during lunch. I’ll see all the employees, Hannity, Coulter, O’Reilly, leave their building, cross the street, walk past me, and line up for halal chicken and rice. I’m like, “Uh… Racist Randy wants that red sauce.” Your brain can be racist, but your body will just betray you. I love that so much. All morning, they’re like, “Mexicans, all lives matter, Arabs… 12:01! Shwarma time!” I love that so much. And I wish I could tell 18-year-old me that, but I can’t. I don’t have a time machine. I can’t tell him that. You know what the shitty part is? When you first fall in love, you get that first taste of the Heisenberg blue. It’s never the same after that. People here with girlfriends are like, “Babe, it’s different with you.” You’re lying and that’s okay.

But we had those first secrets. My secret was, “I want to be a comedian.” She said, “I want to be a journalist.” We promised we would follow our dreams, no matter what people would think. So I started doing comedy. I wasn’t very good. Two years, three years, four years, six years, seven years… I finally get a chance to headline a comedy club. It’s a big deal for me. Gotham Comedy Club, New York City. I did what a lot of early comedians do. I got on Facebook, I got super cocky. I was like, “Yo, Facebook! Your boy, headlining Gotham Comedy Club. Let me know if you want some tix.” All caps. Like, relax! I sent it. I was like, “I’m a headliner. Let’s go to the airport. LA, Chicago, Nashville, New York… I’m flying Southwest. I was like, “I made it! Oh, hello. La Quinta Inn! Don’t mind if I do. Free Wi-Fi? Why not? Let’s see what the internet is saying about me. I open up my laptop, fire up Facebook, and I see this. “Hey, um, long time no see. You’re doing comedy now. So cool. Listen, me and my girlfriends live in Manhattan and we were wondering if we could get some tix?” Question mark. Okay. [laughter] [sighs with pleasure as he drinks]


I don’t know if you know what this means. But, you know, if life gives you lemons, sometimes you’ve got to make “revenge lemonade.” Sprinkle in a little irony. Reply, son. Reply. “Bethany, comma, enter. Totally remember you. Long time no see, indeed.” [talks gibberish in high-pitched voice] “Seven years. A lot of time. Listen, I would love to give you some tix, but we’re going to be taking a lot of photos tonight…

[audience gasps, applauds]

…and I don’t think you’d be a good fit.” Send that shit! Send that shit right now! Send that shit right now! I jump on stage! I run to the club, jump on stage… I don’t even know what I said. I was like, “Fuck that. Goodnight.” Boom. I go to the airport. We go from New York, Chicago, to Nashville to LA. I pick up my Toyota Camry L-motherfucking-E. Don’t you ever forget about it. Cloth interior for life. Whipping through the streets of LA. “Hello, headliner. What do you need?” “Hasan bhai, Dad had a heart attack. Hey… idiot, pick up your phone. I need you. Dad had a heart attack.” My dad had just suffered a quintuple bypass. So they’re rushing him to the hospital. Aisha goes, “Come home, now.” I was like, “I got a set at the Comedy Store. I’m going to do that, then I’ll come home.” And I did a set at the Comedy Store. And then I drove home. And I don’t know why… I get to Kaiser and run upstairs. My mom and my sisters are crying. My sister looks at me, she’s like, “They don’t know what you did. I do.” Doctor sees me. “Are you his son?” “Yeah.” “You’re over 18? Sign this.” I sign this waiver that clears the hospital of liability if something happens to my dad. The surgery is that risky. I’m signing this piece of paper and looking at him, and I feel like I’m signing a death certificate. His body temperature is so low that he looks blue. They wheel him into surgery and I hand the clipboard to the doctor. I look at my dad, like, “If this is the last time I see my dad… I’m saying goodbye to a person I barely even know.” And I’m waiting, hoping that he comes out of surgery okay. And somehow he makes it through. We’re in the hospital. I have to tell him stories. So I’m telling him stories about my life, he’s telling me stories about his. So I tell him the prom story. He goes, “Hasan, I’m mad at you.” “I know, I kissed a girl. I’ll never do it again.”


He goes, “No… why don’t you forgive Bethany?” [speaking Hindi] He wanted to be the bigger person again. I was like, “Why?” “You know when I emigrated to this country in 1982, I thought if I let you go to a school dance, you would join a gang, get a girl pregnant and become a drug dealer, in one night. I wanted to protect you. Her family saw stuff about us. They wanted to protect their daughter. Everybody’s afraid of everybody. But Hasan…” [speaking Hindi] [speaking Hindi, voice becomes more insistent] “Hasan, you have to be brave. Your courage to do what’s right has to be greater than your fear of getting hurt. So, Hasan, be brave. Hasan, be brave.” It’s a very beautiful poem. I think about it all the time. And look, there are some days where I can forgive that person. The past is the past. Tools, Clear History. It’s done. Other days, “No, fuck that. This is House of Cards. Crush our enemies.”

I didn’t know how to feel, until this. Pizza Hut new big pizza sliders are here. Get nine in a box for just ten bucks. Ten bucks. Match up to three ways. Three? Cheese! Big, delicious sliders, only at your Pizza Hut. And that’s how you make it great. Alright, so… so this airs during March Madness. Everyone sees it. The night this airs, friends send me text messages. “Hey, man, by any chance do you know how many pizza sliders you get in a box for just ten bucks?” [laughter] “Nine!” “Is it true you can mix and match up to three ways?” [laughter] “Yes, three. Yes.” A buddy of mine sends me this screengrab. “Just saw my high school prom date in a Pizza Hut ad.” #throwback. #it’s a small world. #brilliant. To which I reply, “We didn’t end up going, though. How’ve you been?” #MrP. #Calc. To which she replies, “I know! Made for a better tweet though. Let me know when you’re in New York.” To which I reply, “abso-f*cking-lutely.” Now, against the advice of my therapist I go on Facebook, because she has a public profile. So I start clicking around. “Bethany Reed.” Okay. “Lives in Manhattan.” Duh, we knew that. “In a relationship with…” I click it.

[audience gasps, applause]

“Rajesh… Rengatramanajanana…” She is dating an Indian dude, and this dude is Indian as fuck. Look at his name! Look at how big his name is. It’s so big, it barely fits in his Facebook profile. So big. Ten syllables. Ra-jesh Ren-gat-ra-ma-na-ja-na-nam. Are you kidding me? How many letters are in the alphabet? How many letters in the alphabet? 26 letters in the alphabet, right? How many letters are in Rajesh Rengatramanajananam? 25. That’s one less letter than the entire alphabet. Come on! How easy is my name? Hasan Minhaj. So easy. She was like, “Fuck that. Give me the Rajesh Rengatramana… motherfucking-jananam.” Like, “No!” God is laughing at me. God is laughing at me. Now, against the advice of my therapist… I make contact. She’s like, “Do not make contact.” I’m like, “Tell me what I want to hear.” “Need closure? Go for it.” “See you next week.” Therapy is bullshit. “Bethany, I’ve got a gig in New York next week. I would love to meet up.” She’s like, “Yeah, let’s meet up.” And I go from LA to New York, direct flight. Pizza Hut money. I’m walking through New York. I’m livid. I’m pissed. How is this possible? How is this possible? Rajesh Rengatramana… How does she make love? “Oh, my God, Rajesh Rengatramanajananam, give it to me right now. Rajesh Rengatramanajananam, I want you so bad. Put your Rajesh in my Rengatramanajananam.” I was like, “Stop it. Stop imagining her having sex with Rajesh Rengatramanajananam. You’ve got leverage. Walk in there, be cool. Walk in there, be confident. Be like this, dude. Walk in there and just own it. Be like this, be like this.” [laughter] [whistling, whooping] “What’s up?” Do that with this, and then lick the lips and go, “What’s up?” I’m practicing it. I get to the door, open the door, then I hear, “Hey, Hasan!” She’s sitting outside. She saw me doing this shit in the street.


I was like, “Oh, hey, what’s up? Is someone sitting there? Cool.” I just walk up and I’m like, “Alright, yeah. I’ll just sit here, cool.” I’m sitting there. When you see someone from your past, all of a sudden, you’re that age again. So all that Kanye juice just goes out of my body. I can’t say anything. It’s like the adults in Charlie Br0wn. I can’t say anything. 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes. “Dude, are you going to be a darapok again? Say something.” She starts talking about rent control and I cut her off. “Bethany, do you know why I’m here? I’m here to talk about prom.” [laughter] And her face went white. You guys knew she was white, right? It went whiter than white. And I was like, “You knew my situation. You knew it. I was ride or die for you. At that age, that’s a lot. You weren’t the same for me, fine. Whatever. But what makes matters worse is, you had me socially crucified in front of everybody. You knew how hard it was for me, and then I was so insecure at that age that I couldn’t date another white person, because I was afraid of not being able to be with them, because of the color of my skin. Do you know what that’s like? And now, I’m trying to pursue my dreams, I’m trying, but now you’re writing about me, you act like we’re cool, when we’re not. Why do you do that?” And she was like, “I am so sorry. But you know we were 18, right? Like, I really wanted to go with you. But my mom, she’s very controlling. Do you know what it’s like to have a parent that controls your life?” “No, I don’t. What is that like? Do tell. I would love to hear that story.”


“Tell me more.” What? She’s like, “I wish I could have gone with you. But I can’t change the past. I never thought you would want to talk to me ever again. But the reason why I write about you is because I see you kept your promise. So even if you never want to talk to me ever again, I’ll always be rooting for you.” You know how you carry hatred in your heart about people in your past? “They did this to me. Fuck them.” Damn them. In that moment, I let it go. I crushed it like a Voldemort Horcrux. [makes crushing sounds]

[cheering, applause]

But I had to ask her the question that we’re all thinking. [laughter] “What about Mr Rengatramanajananam?” She’s like, “I hit it off with this guy. We decide to move in together. I needed money for a deposit so I called my mom.” “What did your mom say?” “My mom was like, ‘No. You know the way our family is. So make up your mind.'” And I was like, “What did you say?” And she’s like, “I told my mom, ‘Not again. This isn’t high school. Raj is a good person and so am I. So I’m going to be with him because it’s right. I hope you make up your mind.'” And I’m looking at her, and I’m so embarrassed. I’m like, “Dude, what are you doing? Why are you hunting down people from your past like a psycho? [laughter] You’re not Liam Neeson. What is going on?” I realized, “You don’t give a shit about this person.” I care about what she represents. Growing up, we just want that co-sign. To tell them you’re good enough. “Sit here. You’re good enough.” But that’s not the American dream. It’s not asking for a co-sign. It’s what every generation did before you. You claim that shit on your own terms. Pizza Hut pizza sliders. Nine in a box for just ten bucks. That’s you. You’re not Hasan Minhaj. You’re “Hussan Minhajj”. This is new br0wn America. The dream is for you to take, so take that shit. Stop blaming other people.

[cheering, whooping]

Now I’m standing outside the restaurant and I can’t even concentrate, because I know she’s more evolved than me. She’s like, “Next time, me, you and Raj should hang out.” I’m like, “Yeah, let’s not do that.” And I’m walking to the subway station. But I take one last look at the restaurant. Just to see her one last time. To know that generational change is possible with one choice. I turn around and I look, but she’s gone. And I never saw her again. I did keep my promise, though. You know, I kept doing comedy. I never knew… I never knew if I would do anything more than Pizza Hut. You know how you hit that point when your parents give up on you and move on? “Let’s move on to Aisha.”

One day I get an email from my manager. “Want to audition for The Daily Show?” That’s not a question. That’s a statement. “Hey, audition for The Daily Show.” I submit a tape. I get a call. “Jon Stewart saw your tape. Come to New York. They want you to audition. But, but… you have to write another original piece. Can you write another?” “No, I can’t. I’m not Larry David. I can’t do Seinfeld and Curb. I’m a mere mortal.” I’m walking back and forth in my shitty one-bed apartment, like, “I’m going to die here.” And it’s amazing how racism will always happen to you when you need it the most. Like changing the oil on your car. “Oh, 15,000 miles. Racism.”

So I’m watching the show Real Time With Bill Maher. Have you guys seen Real Time With Bill Maher? You know Bill’s demeanor. “Hey, do you believe in God? You’re a fucking idiot.” And everyone’s like, “Oh, the atheist prophet speaks!” So this clip went viral, him and Ben Affleck. Bill Maher is like, “These Muslims, 85 percent of them hate our freedom. We’ve got to round them up, we’ve got to contain them.” And Ben Affleck’s like, “Are you crazy? Round them up, contain them? Dude, we did that to the Japanese. You can’t do that. Am I crazy?” And I was like, “No, you’re not crazy. You’re my white prince.”

[laughter, applause]

Don’t you realize what happened in that moment? We got our first A-list celebrity to back the Muslim community. We got Batman, baby! “He may not be the hero we want, but he is the hero the Muslim world needs.” “Batman versus Bill Maher.” I write the piece, go to New York. You get it, right? The producer answers the door: “Audition with me. When you’re ready, Jon will come down. Run it with me.” We’re walking down the hallway, and I see all these photos of the old correspondents that came before me. Steve Carell, John Oliver, Sam Bee, Jason Jones, Ed Helms, Steven Colbert… and me? Keema roti, me? You know we don’t end up this far. You know the way it is. Middle management till we die. We’re not on that stage, ever. I walk in and I see that Daily Show globe. I can’t tell you how blue it is. And now I’m sweating through my suit. The producer is like, “We’ll run it a few times.” And I sit down and I get to the desk. Sitting presidents have sat on that desk. I sit down and we’re running it, and I’m nervous. He goes, “Hey, man, just slow down. Alright?” We run it a second time. Now I’m stuttering. And he goes, “Hey, man, relax. You’re funny.” Which is a tell-tale sign of being, like, “Hey, man. You’re not funny. You shouldn’t relax.” And I can feel it. I’m choking. We’ve all been there. Everyone’s, “How did it go?” You’re like, “Positive thoughts.” No, it’s not happening. You’re not. You are choking. MCAT, DAT, you’re going to the Caribbean, it’s a wrap. You choked, right? Too real? It’s real. We’ve all been there. And I can feel this turtle head coming out of my butt. I’m really nervous. I’m pooping my pants. I’m like, “No!” Then I hear… [sings Daily Show theme] I know that voice. It’s Jewish Yoda. It’s Jon. He’s walking through the tunnel where the guests come, so he’s just back-lit. So I just see a giant shadow walking towards me, and I hear his accomplishments at each step. “Boom! I am Jon Stewart. Boom! Twenty-two-time Emmy-award-winning Jon Stewart. Boom! I redefined political satire and comedy. What have you done?” I’m like, “Have you heard of Pizza Hut?” [laughter]

[applause, whooping]

Then he steps into the light, and he’s shorter than I thought. And he has all this scruff on his face. And I look at him, and I’m like… “Dad?” He had Jewish Najmi vibes. He shakes my hand. I could feel it, like he’d slapped me in a previous life. I was like, “I know this hand!” He starts riffing, I start riffing. The prompter guy: “What are you doing?” “I got this.” I had it all memorized. One shot, Eight Mile. And I stuck my landing like a Russian gymnast. “Thank you for the opportunity.” I tucked that turtle head back in my butt. “We’re going home.” I walk out the door, but then I hear a voice. “Hey, man, where are you going?” And it’s Jon. I was like, “Oh, I live in LA. I’ve got to go back to LA.” “Well, I’ll see you Monday, right?” I was like, “Why?” “Well, you work here. So I’ll see you Monday, right?”

[huge cheer]

I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “Oscar speech, go. Say what you got to say.” What I wanted to say was, “Jon, this is one of the only things that I’ve gotten in my entire career that my dad actually knows.” [laughter] “So thank you.” But what I said was, “Jon! My dad… knows you!” He’s like, “Yeah, I’m sure he does.” I pinch myself. “You’re Hasan Minhaj. You’re going to be on The Daily Show.” I run outside. I call my girl. She’s crying. I call my mom, she’s crying. I call my dad, he says “Good job.” “What? ‘Good job’? Say it again. I can’t hear you, Dad. Say it.” A car almost hits me. I’m, like, “No! I can’t die. I’ve got to drop the greatest status update.” I run upstairs, open my laptop, fire up Facebook, and then I see this.

[audience gasps, moans]

[quiet laughter]

You guys see this, right? [laughter] Don’t you know what this means? Don’t you get it? I’m the cure for racism.

[laughter, applause]

I cured it. Alright, maybe I didn’t cure it, but everyone has a purpose. Some people were put here to find a cure for cancer, or find a vaccine for Ebola. My life is definitive proof that once you go br0wn, you’ve got to lock that shit down.

[huge cheer, applause]

Thank you. Thank you. Good night. Be well. God bless. I love you guys. I love you guys. Good night. I love you.

[whistling, whooping]


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