Standup comics Hasan Minhaj and Vir Das have consistently proven that they are in it for the long haul but it is only now that their art is being recognized and rewarded. The latest honor comes in the form of a spot on Variety’s ‘10 Comics to Watch for 2017’ list.
Less than four years after he came onboard as a special correspondent on “The Daily Show,” then hosted by Jon Stewart, the way Hasan Minhaj has shot into prominence with his wealth of political satire is no laughing matter.
Fresh off his remarkable performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where he took digs at everyone, from President Donald Trump to Bill O’Reilly to major media houses like Fox and CNN, the Indian American standup comic is also making his presence felt on Netflix with his autobiographical one-man show, “Homecoming King.” Minhaj will also make his comedy feature debut in the upcoming film, “Rough Night.” In Lionsgate’s comedy feature, “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” he will essay the role of a CIA operative.
Das, on the other hand, earned his fame as a standup comedian, which eventually paved the way for his entry into Bollywood. Having done some phenomenal roles in Bollywood films like “Delhi Belly,” “Revolver Rani” and “Shaadi Ke Side Effects, the Indian actor-comedian, this year, became the first Indian comedian to get his own Netflix original comedy special.
Variety notes that Das, the “star of Bollywood hits ‘Badmaash Company,’ recently released the Netflix special, ‘Abroad Understanding,’ shot at a stadium in India and a club in New York.” While describing Minhaj’s stint on the late-night satirical news program, the publication adds that he “earned raves for performing at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” adding that “his Netflix special ‘Homecoming Kin’ premiered in May.”
The two are sharing the honor with John Early, currently onscreen in the indie hit, “Beatriz at Dinner”; Esther Povitsky, a scene-stealer on The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”; and Brian Jordan Alvarez, who writes, directs, produces, and stars in “The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo,” named IndieWire’s best Web series of 2016, among others.
The comics are chosen by a group of Variety editors, reporters, and critics after extensive discussions with the comedy community, including those who scout, book, represent, produce, and cast comics on a daily basis.
The honorees will be recognized in the July 19 issue of Variety and at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada; at a cocktail party July 27; followed by a panel and showcase July 28.