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Series / Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

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"I'm not built for this beef with Saudi Arabia. I'm not trying to be comedy's Tupac."
Hasan after the Saudi Arabian government ordered Netflix to remove the episode that critizes the country's Crown Prince

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is an American comedy web television talk show (aka "visual investigative comedy podcast" or "Woke TED Talk") hosted by Hasan Minhaj with a new episode streamed each week on Netflix. It aims to "explore the modern cultural and political landscape with depth and sincerity."

Yes, they may have named the first political talk show hosted by an Indian-American Muslim after controversial legislation enacted by the George W. Bush administration to supposedly fight America's War on Terror. That doesn't necessarily mean they're trying to be provocative...


This web talk show contains examples of:

  • Bollywood Nerd: Hasan leans into his Indian heritage while also gleefully geeking out about niche topics.
    Hasan: Hooverville. Look how that turned out. Sorry, that's an AP Gov joke. You don't get that, you didn't take AP Gov.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    • Hasan admits that his episode about the shopping website Amazon is this trope since all Netflix shows are hosted on Amazon-owned servers.
    • On the episode about fast fashion (clothes that are designed quickly to capture current fashion trends) and how the high volume of clothing produced by it contributes to pollution, Hasan claims that nobody needs such a high volume of clothing... before the Netflix logo appears behind him; Netflix of course being known for its high volume of programming.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: He sometimes comments on how he thinks the show is going as he's doing it and/or how much fun he has with something in the production.
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  • Cassandra Truth: One of Hasan's guests from China finds it hard to believe that Hasan was once a contestant on a MTV dating show and thinks he's making it up which cuts to the next scene where Hasan shows the audience a picture of a younger him on that show.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Hasan points out how the Saudi government ordered Netflix to remove the episode that critizes the Crown Prince on the grounds that it was insentive to the country's Islamic culture yet they didn't order Netflix to remove another episode that critizes Saudi Arabia and the many cooking shows and documentaries about pork (since the animal is considered Haram to Muslims) hosted on Netflix.
  • Keet: Hasan bounces around the set and changes the "view to camera" angles like a hyperactive kid, occasionally coming to an abrupt halt when he wants to make a serious point.
  • Motor Mouth: His normal speech has a moderately impressive words per minute rate, even before he occasionally goes all out (eg. when he summarised the conflict in Yemen in under 40 seconds).
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Invoked. Criticizing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud in the show's second episode resulted in that episode being pulled by Netflix in Saudi Arabia. This only increased public awareness of the show and even got bipartisan support for the show in the US, which is talked about in a subsequent episode.
    Hasan: For the first time in my life, I was a bipartisan icon. … Even Breitbart defended me! Breitbart! Do you know how hard it was for Breitbart? They would look at picture of me and MBS and be like, "Which one is browner?"
  • Younger and Hipper: Aware of the plethora of politically orientated talk shows, Hasan has stated that he made a conscious decision not to wear a suit or sit behind a desk, because he didn’t want to be just seen as "Indian John Oliver". The set uses a lot of technical graphics and Hasan's speech veers from Desi in jokes to Lit AF speak.


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