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Hasan Minhaj is an American comedian and actor. He is currently a Senior Correspondent on The Daily Show, which he joined in 2014. He was chosen to perform at the 2017 White House Correspondents' Dinner. His first stand-up comedy special, Homecoming King, debuted on Netflix on May 23, 2017.
Minhaj attended the University of California, Davis, where he majored in political science. There, 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 Wild 94.9's "Best Comic Standing" competition, which resulted in his working as an opening act for Katt Williams, Pablo Francisco, and Gabriel Iglesias. He also worked part-time for the website Ning, an experience he used to write comedy. Minhaj lists Kevin Shea, W. Kamau Bell, and Arj Barker as inspirations.
In 2009, Minhaj moved to Los Angeles to perform on NBC's Stand-up for Diversity, on which he was a finalist. In 2011, he was a series regular 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 on Failosophy. In 2013, Minhaj 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. In 2014, he voiced Rabi Ray Rana in the video game Far Cry 4.
On November 19, 2014, 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."
Minhaj's one-man show, Homecoming King, debuted Off-Broadway in October 2015. The show featured a central theme of the immigrant experience in the United States today, illustrated with stories from Minhaj's life as a first-generation Indian-American Muslim. He later turned the show into his first stand-up special, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King, which premiered on Netflix on May 23, 2017. The special was filmed at the Mondavi Center at Minhaj's alma mater, UC Davis, in January 2017.