OK, so this is the last time. And this time the Stand-Up Spotlight means it.
A couple weeks ago Hasan Minhaj’s exaggerations (lies?) within his comedy grabbed headlines. Hoping the story had run its course, the Spotlight announced after a few days of coverage the end had arrived.
But Minhaj recently gave an interview to tell his side of the story. And a couple other writers offered their opinions as to the level of Minhaj’s wrong.
In fairness to all, five of those stories appear in today’s Spotlight.
Go ahead and judge the funny. This is the end.
STAND-UP SPOTLIGHT – November 1, 2023
Hasan Minhaj Offers Detailed Response to New Yorker Story: “It Was So Needlessly Misleading”
Hasan Minhaj has mostly stayed quiet about a September New Yorker profile that alleges he fabricated or exaggerated elements of stories he tells in his stand-up comedy, a bombshell story that raised questions about his public persona.
Although he gave a statement Sept. 15 after the article’s publication that said, in part, “all my standup stories are based on events that happened to me,” Minhaj hasn’t responded in detail — until now, and in, as the comedian puts it, “the most Hasan Minhaj way possible: a 20-minute deep dive with graphics and excessive hand motions.”
I’m not a psycho: Hasan Minhaj breaks silence on ‘needlessly misleading’ New Yorker profile
Stand-up comedian and political commentator Hasan Minhaj has finally broken his silence about the controversy surrounding a September New Yorker profile that raised questions about the authenticity of stories in his stand-up comedy. The article alleged that Minhaj had fabricated or exaggerated elements of his life stories, which left many questioning his public persona. In a 20-minute video statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter, Minhaj addresses the allegations, providing more context on the stories in question and explaining his artistic choices.
Did ‘The New Yorker’ Do Hasan Minhaj Dirty?
When The New Yorker ran its piece on Hasan Minhaj, it led us to believe that the comedian made up stories to capture what Minhaj called “emotional truths.” Do we allow for liberties in the work of a stand-up comedian to illustrate a point? Yes. Do we allow for made-up stories? No.
The New Yorker, in the framing of its story, strongly insinuated the latter, not by making up their own story but by leaving out key details, according to Minjah in a 20-minute video rebuttal he released to The Hollywood Reporter. I find Minhaj mostly insufferable thanks to that Celebrity Jeopardy appearance, and no one should have to suffer through a 20-minute video. But I did, and I’ll be honest: Based on it and the evidence in the form of emails and interview excerpts with the outlet that he presented, I think The New Yorker did him dirty. Sort of.
Hasan Minhaj Says Exposé on His Embellished Stand-Up Act Was ‘Misleading’ and ‘Made Me Look Like’ a ‘Psycho’; New Yorker ‘Stands By Our Story’
Just over a month after The New Yorker published a story in which it was revealed that Hasan Minhaj embellished some of his stand-up routines, the comedian has responded in a 20-minute video in which he calls the The New Yorker’s exposé “needlessly misleading.”
“With everything that’s happening in the world, I’m aware even talking about this now feels so trivial,” Minhaj says in the video. “But being accused of ‘faking racism’ is not trivial. It’s very serious, and it demands an explanation … To everyone who read that article, I want to answer the biggest question that’s probably on your mind: Is Hasan Minhaj secretly a psycho? Underneath all that pomp, is Hasan Minhaj just a con artist who uses fake racism and Islamophobia to advance his career? Because after reading that article, I would also think that.”
Hasan Minhaj Proves Why We Shouldn’t Trust Comedians
Throughout his rise as a stand-up comic and TV presenter, Hasan Minhaj established himself a trustworthy voice of reason. Years after Jon Stewart stepped down, The Daily Show alumnus cultivated his resume as a possible heir apparent. His Netflix comedy-news show The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (heavily modeled on his prior TV correspondent gig) positioned the California-born satirist at the forefront of the comedy community, speaking on behalf of marginalized voices.
Off with his head: The manufactured scandal over Hasan Minhaj
When Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story, journalism in this country took a turn. Tough, intrepid reporters were associated with a dogged quest for the truth. Yet, as Matt Bai explains it in the New York Times Magazine, it’s a mistake to think that the legacy of Watergate has actually been journalistic commitment to the truth. Instead, for him, Watergate led to an obsession with uncovering scandals, whether significant or not.