Hasan Minhaj returns with Patriot Act

Neil Runge | Staff Writer


In today’s society, learning about politics is tiring and emotionally draining, but Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is making the act of learning about today’s current political climate something that can both entertain, inform and motivate viewers to learn more.

This show premiered on Netflix with two episodes this past Sunday and new episodes to be added weekly, each one based around a different current event.

Following the same political satire vein as The Daily Show (which Minhaj worked on) and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Minhaj takes a different, more relaxed approach to the comedy style that is prevalent in shows on streaming services and TV cable programs.

Rather than sitting behind a desk in a business-like suit, Minhaj takes the stage in sweaters and dress pants. It feels more like a friendly conversation about the news rather than a news report filled to the brim with jokes. It’s a serious talk that needs to be had, but made light and easy to understand for a wider audience.

Minhaj takes his background as a standup comedian and a desire to teach viewers about important political news and creates what feels like a sit down at a cafe while reading the newspaper, but also an in-depth presentation about Trump and Saudi Arabia given in an AP government class. It’s a wonderful mixture that helps the often-stressful task of reading about the actions of world leaders become more relaxed.

Patriot Act strikes a perfect balance between serious concern for the what the host is talking about and being able to find humor in the comments made by slightly ignorant politicians or newscasters.

It helps that the host is a person of color. Minhaj is Indian and making jokes about his own people makes it funnier because it can’t be taken as offensive or racist, as it could be if the host were white.

This is also a plus to the show because the most qualified person to stand on a platform and talk about the things a minority group has done should be someone from that group. It helps prevent the formation of stereotypes and puts prejudices in their place.

Hasan Minhaj gives a fresh take to a style of news presentation that is common. His show is easy going but doesn’t let people forget that, at the end of the day, the subject matter is still important.