Asian American trailblazer Hasan Minhaj has been named one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2019, and his former “Daily Show” colleague honored him.
Host Trevor Noah, who started at the “Daily Show” around the same time Minhaj did, wrote the “Patriot Act” host’s tribute for the annual list. Noah explained exactly why Minhaj’s voice has spoken to so many people.
“We’ve needed Hasan’s voice since Donald Trump came down that golden escalator and turned immigrants and Muslims into his targets,” Noah wrote in the heartfelt ode. “See, Hasan is a first-generation, Indian-American Muslim. But Hasan also loves the NBA, struggles with a ‘crippling’ sneaker habit and speaks fluent hip-hop.”
Noah added: “‘Patriot Act’ is the manifestation of Hasan’s whip-smart commentary, charisma and sincerity. It’s also a consistent reminder that Hasan is America. And America is Hasan.”
Minhaj has had an explosive few years. Many became aware of the comedian’s snarky commentary after he hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner back in 2017, when Donald Trump backed out of the gig.
“No one wanted this gig, so of course it landed in the hands of an immigrant,” Minhaj joked during the speech.
The comedian has garnered buzz for his Netflix show, tackling a variety of topics from affirmative action to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Saudi Arabia episode ended up being removed in the country after it had expressed complaints about the material in the show.
Minhaj responded to the controversy, saying “clearly, the best way to stop people from watching something is to ban it, make it trend online, and then leave it up on YouTube,” he wrote on Twitter at the time.
He added: “Let’s not forget that the world’s largest humanitarian crisis is happening in Yemen right now,” including a link for those reading to donate to the cause.