Hasan Minhaj Interviewed by Vinson Cunningham
On a high-school speech-and-debate team, Hasan Minhaj learned the value of a joke: “If I made the judges laugh, I automatically saw an increase in the amount of points that I would get. And so I was like, ‘Oh, that’s a really powerful tool to get people on your side.’ ” Now a “Daily Show” correspondent, Minhaj was asked to host the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner during the first year of the Trump Administration. “No one wanted to do this,” he said. “So, of course, it lands in the hands of an immigrant.” But he is increasingly aware of the limits of comedy. After performing at the Moth’s story-slam events, he wrote the special “Homecoming King,” now on Netflix, which describes the hate crimes that his Indian immigrant family endured after September 11th. He spoke with the staff writer Vinson Cunningham at the 2017 New Yorker Festival. Plus, Yotam Ottolenghi finished a graduate program in philosophy; he tells Jane Kramer why he left it for a life in the kitchen.