REVIEW: Hasan Minhaj: Before the Storm

With two sold out shows in one night and Azhar Usman as an opener for Hasan Minhaj, Before the Storm was the perfect remedy for any anxiety you may have about the current political nature of America.

As an Indian-American Muslim standup comedian from Chicago, Azhar Usman tackled the racial tensions in America, commented on Google, and laid some conspiracy theories out on the stage before making way for Hasan Minhaj.

The event used Yondr, which made it a phone-free show. At the beginning of the show, Hasan justified the use of Yondr, saying he knew it was really hard locking our phones up, but it was necessary to protect the content of his show (and his image) since this Before the Storm tour was a sneak preview into his new Netflix show, Patriot Act.

Since some of the content he performed will be used on the show, I’ll try not to give away any spoilers. However, the basic gist of his new show, Patriot Act, centers around analyzing the political and cultural landscape in our fragmented country. Just as he did as a correspondent on The Daily Show, Hasan will bring his distinct comedic voice to dive into serious topics on his Netflix show, and that’s exactly what he did on his live tour as well.

Hasan Minhaj used news clips, statistics, and nicely-timed graphics to explain heavy topics such as the travel ban and refugee terrorism. His fast-paced delivery that was synchronized with the information he was displaying on the screen behind him was extremely impressive, and it worked. With this kind of multimedia presentation, Hasan is bringing about a new modern type of comedy show where he uses technology and visuals to make us laugh and to emphasize his points as well.

Through all the laughter and applause that filled the Michigan Theater, the best thing about Hasan Minhaj’s show was how important it was — the serious content delivered in a way that uplifted the spirits of many minorities who could relate to the humor and perspective that Hasan’s comedy provided.

Keep an eye out for Patriot Act, which comes out on Netflix on October 28. From the bits Hasan used during Before the Storm, his new show is guaranteed to be as incisive and bright and witty and brilliant as the renowned comedic voice he has established as his own.

Angela Lin

Angela is a sophomore studying English and the Environment. The only thing she loves more than writing and the arts are wombats.

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