Hasan Minhaj admitted to fabricating Stand-Up Stories!
It emerged on Friday that comedian, former “Patriot Act” host, and “The Daily Show” star had been believing fabricated punchlines.
Hasan Minhaj’s “Emotional Truths” were revealed in an interview published by The New Yorker.
Minhaj acknowledged, for the first time, that many of the anecdotes he related in his Netflix specials were untrue.
Still, he said that he stood by his work.
“Every story in my style is built around a seed of truth,” Minhaj said.
“My comedy Arnold Palmer is 70% emotional truth — this happened — and then 30% hyperbole, exaggeration, fiction,” he added.
Minhaj’s Netflix series, “Patriot Act”—a comedy news show in the mold of “The Daily Show” and “Last Week Tonight”—was named for the defining law of that era.
The Netflix series won an Emmy and a Peabody Award during its two-year run.
Hasan Minhaj’s stage work as a standup comic has led to two Netflix comedy specials, which have drawn plaudits for his blend of autobiographical storytelling and social-justice commentary.
In 2019, Minhaj was selected as one of Time magazine’s most influential people.
The comedian came of age as a practicing Muslim in an Indian family in post-9/11 America.
Minhaj admitted to The New Yorker that his daughter was never exposed to the white powder or hospitalized.
The comedian maintained that a letter with white powder was sent to his house and he joked to his wife, “Holy shit. What if this was anthrax?”
Another story told in “The King’s Jester,” was also fabricated. In the story, Minhaj talks about an FBI informant who infiltrated his family’s mosque in the Sacramento area. The informant, named Brother Eric, was a white man who said he was a convert to Islam. Minhaj said Brother Eric tried to get the men of the congregation to talk about jihad, and he messed with Brother Eric by saying he was applying to get his pilot’s license. The police allegedly showed up and slammed Minhaj onto the hood of his car.
Minhaj told the publication that both stories were based on “emotional truth” despite being made up, adding, “The punch line is worth the fictionalized premise.”
On the other hand, the Brother Eric story was “based on a hard foul he received during a game of pickup basketball in his youth,” The New Yorker reported.
“Minhaj and other teenage Muslims played pickup games with middle-aged men whom the boys suspected were officers. One made a show of pushing Minhaj to the ground.”
According to The New Yorker, Minhaj said that he allowed himself to create characters during his stand-up routines.
“No, I don’t think I’m manipulating [the audience],” Minhaj said. “I think they are coming for the emotional roller-coaster ride…To the people that are, like, ‘Yo, that is way too crazy to happen,’ I don’t care because yes, fuck yes — that’s the point.”