This is a fan letter to Hasan Minaj!
I don’t watch much television, and certainly not late-night tv (I don’t stay up that late), but I have been enjoying the snippets of The Daily Show I get on Instagram. I loved Trevor Noah, and I imagine he is a tough act to follow, so in his wake the show has had a series of guest hosts. I always enjoy Wanda Sykes, who filled in for a period, but if the producers are trying out hosts to replace Trevor, my vote is for Hasan Minaj. Honestly, I have never seen him before this guest host gig, and I’m sure he has a great resume, but for me it’s as if he appeared out of thin air specifically to entertain me. Not only is he spot-on hilarious, but he is razor-sharp articulate, and he is seemingly unafraid to challenge even the most daunting of Goliaths.
In one of his rants, he takes on Twitter. He says that while Twitter followers love to blame Elon Musk for “destroying” Twitter, it’s the maniacs who use Twitter who are guilty (if there was anything good about Twitter to begin with!) He points to the limited number of people who actually use Twitter and the even smaller number who are on the site way too much. (Fewer than the number of “country music stars named Luke.”) George Takai, for example, tweets like 30 times a day. How many opinions does Takai have, anyway? Minaj states clearly that no one’s opinion has ever been changed by Twitter, and most of what is posted is superficial nonsense. Then others respond “This!” to a nonsense post, meaning “I agree?” Agree to what? He doesn’t mention Donald Trump, but the implication is there, that our former Twitterer-in-chief fanned his followers’ flames with his posts. Sound bites are not thought-out opinions worthy of consideration.
One of the funniest bits I watched was an exchange between Minaj and Ronny Chieng. Both comedians are unafraid to take on political subjects and to challenge political correctness. They argue about whether Indians are actually Asian, an opinion previously expressed by Chieng, and when Chieng restates his opinion that Indians are not truly Asian, Minaj shoots back, “At least I’m not afraid to use my real name, RONNY!” When Chieng complains that he has been pigeonholed as the token Chinese guy, Minaj retorts that he too has been pigeonholed by the mainstream. Every time there is a role for a subway bomber, they bring him as out the Muslim guy. The exchange could have been awkward, but is really funny.
Minaj takes on the media after a guest on the show is misquoted by Skip Bayless, a mainstream sports commentator. A famous football star who is known to be kind and self-effacing is made to say something challenging to another player as a gag, but can’t do it and apologizes profusely. Bayless squeezes out the jokey challenge without the apology and makes a big deal about it, fanning flames. Minaj challenges Bayless to contribute to Giannis’s father’s charity to make up for his misquote.
I’m not sure if the network is auditioning future hosts, but I sincerely hope they choose Hasan Minaj. He is a straight shooter who is not scared to take on big shots and political subjects. He is smart and off-the-cuff funny. He is relaxed an natural in front of the camera, making me feel as if we were sitting together across the dinner table. It doesn’t hurt that he is a Muslim guy who is not a scary terrorist. We need to see more of him.