Comedian Hasan Minhaj just delivered some tight stand up to what is maybe the fourth worst audience in the world, following North Koreans, ISIS, and an office Christmas party.
On Tuesday, the Patriot Act host appeared on Capitol Hill to speak before the House Financial Services Committee about the $1.5 trillion student debt crisis. Specifically, he addressed the crippling reality of the cost of higher education, the shrinking of the middle class, and why policy-makers and student loan services are such douchebags.
The committee held a "long overdue" hearing on student lending and the higher educational system's craven and predatory practices. Chairwoman Maxine Waters called the hearing overdue "given the scale of the crisis at hand," referring to the 45 million Americans with student loan debt—the size of which has surpassed the nation's total outstanding credit card debt and auto debt. Waters invited Minhaj to speak, considering Patriot Act's large outreach to audiences of thirty-something-year-olds and younger, who came of age amidst the worst recession since the Great Depression and whose daily struggles are dismissed by politicians who are deluded about the severity and real-world cause and effect of "millennial problems."
When Minhaj appeared before congress, he applied his usual mix of candid humor and anal retentive research. After all, who better to articulate such a chaotic and dystopian crisis than an Indian-American Muslim comedian who was waitlisted for law school?
It's unfortunate that some of Minhaj's best lines from Tuesday's hearing only received a smattering of laughter from the back of the room amidst a miasma of Republicans' indignant huffs and that smell of fear boomers give off in the presence of minorities who know things. In that spirit, we've spotlighted some of his best bits:
1. When he reminded the room he's brown but was still invited to congress
"My name is Hasan Minaj. I'm a Muslim and I condemn radical Islamic terrorism. That has nothing to do with anything but I just want that on the record."