The idea of weekly talk shows on Netflix isn’t a new one. Joel McHale and Michelle Wolf both gained a spot on the platform for pop culture news and other segments. Now it looks like Hasan Minhaj is going to get his own shot in a show called “The Patriot Act.”
Minhaj has been through a rash of great success even beyond his work on “The Daily Show,” especially in his (excellent) stand-up special on Netflix, “Homecoming King.” Now his new show has been bought up in a 32-episode deal.
Apparently, there was a big bidding war that happened between Netflix and Comedy Central for the rights to the show, which may explain the long order from Netflix. Either way, hopefully it will be a chance for people to enjoy more of Minhaj’s great talent.
The show is also crossing big barriers — “The Patriot Act” is set to be the first weekly comedy show with an Indian-American host, as though there weren’t already enough reasons to tune in. Apparently the show itself will be an opportunity for Minhaj to analyze today’s politics with “depth and sincerity,” which is the kind of phrasing that doesn’t come up often enough these days.
The American public has long been interested in comedians digesting their news for them, perhaps as they realize the privilege there is in being able to make fun of the powerful without fear of retribution (for now!) from authorities. Yet, it is also a testament to the political climate that so many of these shows are cropping up.
Lately, the average news consumer has likely encountered more writings about news cycle fatigue than they have in the past. Perhaps that has also contributed to the appetite for comedic takes on the news. There really is no humor in the way things are today (though, honestly, when was the last time news was truly funny?), and no Bush-era humor of the absurd suffices anymore.
— Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (@patriotact) August 9, 2018
The show is set to come out later this year, which means that it likely will be in time for this November’s heated midterm elections, for which there is almost a full-scale panic in the interest of creating voter turnout in these traditionally poorly attended elections.
Minhaj commented on this timing himself when announcing the show on TV, saying “I’m thrilled to be joining the Netflix family as the country braces for another election season — and like you, I cannot wait to find out who Putin picks this time,” which certainly is evocative of the sense of insecurity surrounding election results as more and more of President Trump’s associates are brought in for questioning.
Oh, and since he publicly said that he believed there was no Russian meddling in the election, get this: there was.
Anyway, this gives at least a little bit of hope for entertainment while the world slowly turns to dust under everyone’s feet. I, for one, will look forward to seeing more content created by Minhaj — hopefully other people will watch it too.