Comedian Hasan Minhaj Just Destroyed A Room Full Of Congresspeople For Failing On Gun Control

This is comedy we need right now

Stop what you’re doing.

Okay. Now that you’ve stopped, redirect your attention to the video above in which comedian Hasan Minhaj gives a room full of media and congresspeople a smart, impassioned spanking over their insufficient efforts to promote true equality in the United States.

The whole routine is about 23 minutes long, and it starts off in typical fashion. Minhaj congratulates everyone on being present for The Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner—aka the less cool White House Correspondents Dinner—and makes jokes comparing Hillary Clinton to a Toyota Camry.

They’re good jokes, and everyone is laughing. But near the end of his time, around the 18:00 minute mark, Minhaj shifts the tone entirely to address the massacre in Orlando, telling the unsuspecting crowd, “I don’t know even know how to pivot here, to be honest with you guys.”

Everyone laughed, but for the last time, as Minhaj proceeded to lay into the banquet hall of lawmakers for their inaction in the face of blatant systemic hatred across this country they were elected to serve, “What we say in Orlando was one of the ugliest cocktails of problems that we still see here in America, a cocktail of homophobia, xenophobia, lack of access to mental healthcare and sheer lack of political will.”

The camera periodically cuts to the crowd where sheepish audience members sit silently, taking their lashes. The following excerpts are a selection of his toughest blows:

“Everyday in our workplaces, our homes and our religious institutions there is cover or overt discrimination or phobia towards people of different religious, racial or sexual walks of life. And we just sit there and we let it happen, because it doesn’t affect our bottom line.”

“The sad reality is that stuff like this is going to continue to happen unless we realize that civil liberties are an all or nothing game… So whether you like it or not we all have to step up and fight for each other, otherwise the whole thing is a sham.”

“My brothers and sisters in the African American community, their spines are going to continue to get shattered in the backs of paddy wagons until we stand up and say something.”

“You get paid almost $200,000 a year to write rules, to make our society better. Not tweet, not tell us about your thoughts and prayers. To write rules to make our society better.”

“Right now, since 1998, the NRA has given $3.7 million to Congress… So I don’t know if this is like a Kickstarter thing, but if $3.7 million can buy political influence to take lives, if we raise $4 million would you guys take that to save lives?”

Minhaj has been performing versions of his routine around the comedy circuit, sharpening his jokes before showtime at the RTCA dinner. I know, because I watched a 10-minute version of it at Los Angeles’ famed Comedy Store just two weeks ago. I recognized a number of the jokes—all of which slayed during his test run—and even his scathing quips about congressional inaction were already on display. But it’s clear that after Orlando happened Minhaj resolved to cut the gloves off and show up swinging hard, despite the fact that governor John Kasich is sitting just a few chairs away from him.

This is comedy at its best. Brave, tough, intelligent, honest and essential. It feels like Jon Stewart in one of his Daily Show peaks. The kind of thing that made you feel better about the world after you watched because someone with a megaphone heard your anger and managed to channel all your frustration so effectively that it transformed into a sword of satire. It’s the kind of comedy that makes you feel armed in a situation that otherwise leaves you helpless.

Here’s to you, Hasan Minhaj. In a dark and terrible time you were one of our every day heroes this week.

Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less