Comedian. Not related to Nicki” is what the “about” section of Hasan Minhaj Facebook page reads. True. But TV personality, political commentator and stand-up comedian, Minhaj doesn’t need to be a relative of the American singer-songwriter Nicki Minaj. He burst into public consciousness last year when he was chosen to address the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD).
“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the series finale of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. My name is Hasan Minhaj or as I will be known in a few weeks, number 830287. Who would have thought, that with everything going on in the country right now, that a Muslim would be standing on this stage — for the ninth year in a row baby! We had eight years of Barack (Obama), what’s another year!” opened Minhaj to a raucous applause in April 2017.
The particular edition of the WHCD was special, because, for the first time a correspondent of a Muslim-Indian heritage had addressed the audience, and also because President Donald Trump had chosen to boycott the event — becoming the first president to do so. Ronald Reagan was the last sitting president who had been absent from the WCHD but he was recovering from an assassination attempt at the time.