When: Saturday, September 24, 2016
Venue: Royal Theatre
The Vibe: A lot of Indian people, naturally.
Previously On: The Daily Show, a Pizza Hut commercial and recently a guest on Chelsea.
How Was It? So Good.
A lot more Indo-Canadian/Indo-American comedians being noticed in recent years thanks to YouTube. Some fund them absolutely hilarious but I’ve become bored of them. Their shtick pretty much involves them dress in drag as an auntie or uncle and pick out one thing for each video that second or third generation Indo-Canadians will find annoying about their culture. What’s the joke? Something in our culture that the mainstream (ahem, non-brown) audience won’t get. They never really move past that.
Then there’s a comic like Minhaj who is so beyond that cliche. He’s appealing to the mainstream audience. Homecoming King is about some of the racism that Minhaj experienced in a post-9/11 America. While I’m not Muslim or American, there were shades of these experiences that I’ve had myself and could definitely understand. Then there were other struggles that were also relatable (being the eldest kid in a family, “What will people say?” and having an “untraditional” career).
Going into Homecoming King, I was worried that I already knew the outcome to his central story as Minhaj had recently shared his prom story when he was a guest on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix series. While it was a still a spoiler, there were so many more layers to that story. That’s where Minhaj’s talent lies. He’s able to weave these layers on his experiences that make them completely reliable. Not just that, you’re laughing one second and then have a tear in your eye the next.
Relatability Score: Very high. It finally happened: I was able to relate to another person of Indian heritage.