Minhaj’s present is modeled much less on classical late-night than the thinkpiece-with-jokes format of his fellow “Each day Present” alumnus, John Oliver. Like Oliver’s “Final Week Tonight,” Minhaj’s present is “discuss” solely within the sense that, sure, somebody is speaking the entire time.
The very first thing you discover on “Patriot Act” is the stage, an alien mom ship of blazing mild and geometry that appears, Minhaj pre-emptively jokes, “like Michael Bay directed a PowerPoint presentation.” The second is Minhaj himself, jittery and pacing, seeming to soak up power from the jillion-watt setting, his legs spring-loaded.
[Examine how Minhaj developed “Patriot Act.”]
There isn’t any scarcity of news-junkie comics, armed with analysis and graphics, cracking smart from the left today. Minhaj’s first two episodes leaned into one factor that units him aside, his background as a Muslim Indian American and the kid of immigrants.
His first subject was a latest lawsuit in opposition to Harvard’s affirmative-action coverage, which seeks to advance a longtime criticism of white activists by leveraging complaints that Asian-People have been discriminated in opposition to.
It’s a topic that’s, actually, greater than black and white: It includes pitting minority teams in opposition to each other, utilizing historic issues for manipulative ends. Minhaj, bounding between historical past and pop-culture references, was in a position to strategy the difficulty as an insider, enjoying on stereotypes that may be radioactive coming from an outsider. Citing statistics exhibiting that Asian-People make up 5.eight % of the inhabitants however over 22 % of Harvard’s class of 2021, he added: “However in traditional Asian-parent trend, we’re like, ’Twenty-two %? Why not 100%?’”
Befitting its first subject, “Patriot Act” is an instance of how hiring discuss present hosts aside from solely white males isn’t simply honest; it offers residence viewers views, and thus comedy, they wouldn’t get in any other case. (It additionally represents the viewers in a different way; the studio, in Minhaj’s opening reveals, was crammed with followers of South Asian descent.) The second episode, pegged to the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was an outline of Saudi Arabian politics, with detours to critique Indian-American conservatives and the aesthetics of Saudi rap movies.