Hasan Minhaj Will Headline WSU Family Weekend

Washington State University will celebrate its spring Family Weekend from March 31 to April 2 on the Pullman campus. Headlining the Family Weekend Concert on April 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Beasley Coliseum will be comedian Hasan Minhaj.

After working as a stand-up comedian and appearing in minor television roles, Minhaj came to prominence for his work on “The Daily Show” as its senior correspondent from 2014 to 2018.
While in college, he became interested in comedy after seeing Chris Rock’s “Never Scared,” the first stand-up special he watched. He began traveling to San Francisco to perform. In 2008, he won the “Best Comic Standing” competition sponsored by Wild 94.9 FM, which resulted in his working as an opening act for Katt Williams, Pablo Francisco, and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. He also worked part-time for the website Ning, an experience he used to write comedy.

In 2009, Minhaj moved to Los Angeles to perform on NBC’s “Stand-up for Diversity” competition and earned a spot as a finalist. In 2011, Minhaj had a recurring role on the TV sitcom “State of Georgia” and starred in various roles on the MTV hidden camera show “Disaster Date.” Through posting on YouTube, he was cast as the host of “Failosophy” on MTV. In 2013, he appeared in guest roles on “Arrested Development” and “Getting On.” He hosted “Stand Up Planet” in 2013 and a web series, “The Truth with Hasan Minhaj,” in 2014.

That same year, Minhaj joined “The Daily Show” as a correspondent — the last one hired by then-host Jon Stewart. Minhaj was asked to come in for an audition with new material after he sent in a tape of him performing an idea for a Daily-Show segment, but he initially panicked as he had no other material prepared. The Friday before Minhaj’s audition, Ben Affleck and Bill Maher got into a heated exchange about Islam on Maher’s show, and Minhaj used this for a new sketch he called “Batman vs. Bill Maher”. He was the featured speaker at the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where he took on the traditional role of roasting Washington society, national politics, current events, the current president, the Washington press corps, and the American media. He criticized U.S. President Donald Trump, who was boycotting the dinner, calling him the “liar in chief,” and he reminded the press to do their job. His first stand-up comedy special, “Homecoming King,” began as a one-man Off-Broadway show and was released on Netflix in 2017. The show’s central theme highlighted the immigrant experience in the United States today, illustrated with stories from Minhaj’s life as a second-generation Indian-American Muslim. It received positive reviews from critics and won him his first Peabody Award in 2018.

Minhaj left “The Daily Show” in August 2018 to host a weekly comedy show, “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj,” on Netflix. The show explored the modern cultural, political and economic landscape. In April 2019, he won his second Peabody Award for “Patriot Act,” and was included on Time Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Minhaj also appeared in season two of the Apple TV’s drama series “The Morning Show” in a recurring role. In 2021-2022, Minhaj performed in a comedy tour across the United States that culminated in the release of a Netflix special “The King’s Jester” last October. That same month, he appeared as a contestant on “Celebrity Jeopardy,” and his animated and over-the-top reactions earned him the dubious accolade of “most annoying contestant ever” by the show’s long-time fans.

Minhaj is Muslim but considers himself “non-dogmatic” and has expressed his struggles with various Islamic beliefs and practices. He and his wife, Beena Patel, are both second-generation Indian Americans living in Greenwich, Connecticut. In addition to English, Minhaj is fluent in his native languages of Hindi and Urdu.

Tickets to the concert are on sale through TicketsWest and are $74.50 for the general public and $69.50 for WSU students, faculty and staff members. Visit ticketswest.com and search for Hasan Minhaj by name.