-One of the things I like most
about your show is — you give context to stories
that I don’t feel like get covered a lot —
not just on late-night shows, but even on news shows
here in the States. Prime Minister in India,
Prime Minister Modi, and he was here, and Donald Trump
went to this rally. -To open for Modi.
-Yeah. -It was a big deal.
-Yeah. So, explain that, because it
certainly seems surreal to me to watch President Trump
holding hands with another man, just sort of walking through. -And they were full-on swinging.
-Yeah. -It was a strange thing to see. But for those who don’t know,
you know, Prime Minister Modi had
sold out NRG Stadium, where the Texans play,
in Houston. 50,000-plus people showed up. And then Donald Trump was like,
“I’ll open.” -Yeah.
-I’m like, “Oh, I’ve got to go.” This is like the Jay-Z and
Beyoncé of ethno-nationalism. -Yeah. -Like, imagine
a Jay and Bey concert but with no white or black
people and no coolness at all. And so I was like,
“I got to be there.” -So you went. You decided,
“This is the perfect thing for our show to cover.” -Yeah, because I knew that,
like, what Modi pulled off — And this is
a political gangster. A lot of people in the Indian
community don’t rock with Trump. But because of
this weird pairing, they just had to stand for DJT. -Yeah.
-Yeah. Like, imagine if you got
Ed Sheeran tickets free. -Uh-huh.
-Sold out, NRG Stadium. And then, a week before,
they were like, “Special guest — Bill Cosby.” You’d be like, “All right,
you’ve got a monster, but then I really want to hear
‘Shape of You.'” And all the aunties and uncles
were like, “I got to do Shape –‘”
Yeah, yeah. -So, you go down there.
-I go down there. Well, I was like,
“I have to be there.” So we submit
our press credentials. Immediately get an e-mail back. They’re like,
“We’re out of space.” I’m like, “Word.” Like, I’ve been to
Indian weddings. You just walk in.
-Yeah. -You’re out of space in
a football stadium? No. So, I reach out to
the organizers. I’m like, “Hey, come on.
This is my community. You guys get it.
Like, I want to be there.” And they’re like, “We’re out of
space, but we are discussing.” -Oh, my goodness.
-I’m like, “All right.” And if you’ve ever
done field pieces, you know that you’ve got to
show up and, you know, be a good-faith actor,
and they’ll take care of you. -Right, right. -So, I show up to
the press table that morning, and they’re like, “Mr. Minhaj,
we are out of space, and you’ve been denied
because of some of the comments
you have made.” -Wow! -And I’m like, “I’m sorry for
making fun of cricket. It’s not just a sport for FOBs. It’s an international game
that is taking over the world. They’re like, “No. The comments you have made about
Prime Minister Modi were not appreciated,
and you’ve been blacklisted.” -Wow! -And I was like,
“Dude, you’re treating me like Indian Jorge Ramos.” This is Trump 101.
-Yeah. -And I’m in Texas,
so you guys pretty much think I’m Jorge Ramos. So, I’m in the parking lot
and I’m just watching this whole thing on live stream while I’m looking
at the stadium. And I’m watching the program. And during the program,
they’re honoring prominent Indian-Americans. “Indian-Americans
have done so much in arts, music, even comedy.” And then they show a photo of me
on the Jumbotron, and people start clapping. [ Cheers and applause ] So, you understand what’s
happening. -So, this — And we do have
a photo of where you were when you were watching that. -I’m in the parking lot. So, they were honoring me
for my comedy while also blackmailing me
and blackballing me and kicking me out
for my comedy. It was the most
Indian thing ever. They were like,
“We’re proud of you, but we’ll never say it
to your face.” It tore me apart, man. Like, inside the stadium
and outside the stadium, there were protesters. So, it’s all my community. This is my
basic community, right? And when everything’s filling
out — you guys get this — they were arguing. Everyone is arguing
with each other. They’re yelling at each other. Cops are trying to break it up
in between two people. And I was like, “Dude, come on.
This is us. We live in the same
neighborhoods. You guys probably
both work at Google.” -Yeah.
-“You both weigh 135 pounds.” You both have never fought
in your life.” And the police officers
are like, “Why are you guys arguing
over sweaters? Everyone can have cashmere.” And they’re like,
“That’s the problem. Everyone can’t have Kashmir.” So, that was the event.
-That sounds very intense. -It was intense. Yeah. -Was this more or less intense? You went and you spoke
before Congress. -Yeah. -You addressed
the student-loan crisis. [ Cheers and applause ]
-Yes. -And was it Maxine Waters
who asked you — -Maxine Waters. Yep.
-She invited you. -Yeah. -And, so, what was the
experience of speaking before Congress? -Well, I was kind of shocked,
’cause I was like, “Is this where we’ve gotten?” -Right. -Like, if we need to move
the needle on an issue, you have to call up a comedian? -Right, yeah. -Like, “Oh, man, the opioid
epidemic is out of control. You know who can solve this?
Gilbert Gottfried.” -Yeah. -“Let’s see what
Gilbert’s doing, and maybe we can get this
thing through.” But, look, I’ve watched
one-hour dramas on TV. Like, I thought Congress
was going to be hot, sexy, witty banter, you know,
affairs in the air. No. It was like the DMV
in there. -Yeah.
-Just, like, gray lighting. You show up. They give you a Dixie cup
and hand you a “Men’s Health” from 2014. When I was in Congress
testifying — C-SPAN didn’t get this, but in
the corner, like where Fred is, I saw a mousetrap with cheese. I was like,
“Dude, Trump is right — there are rats
in this building.” -Yeah. It’s so low-end,
though, right? -Yeah.
-It’s just, like, brown. -Yeah. It’s really not —
It’s really not hot. -Like, the shot of
the congressmen and then the shot of
the person testifying is always very dramatic,
but every time they take a wide shot — -You’re like,
“Oh, this is an open mic.” -Yeah.
-“Three people are here.” All of the seats are empty. -‘Cause they just —
People file in, they ask you five minutes
of questions, and then they just
vamoose, right? -They do their five.
and then they leave. -Yeah. -And I stayed there the entire
four hours, no bathroom breaks. I thought that’s what you’re
supposed to do. -They don’t give you
bathroom breaks? -No! And Maxine Waters
told me, at the end — She’s like,
“You should have asked.” I’m like, “You really wanted
me to be like, ‘Um, Mrs. Waters, can I get the
cube with the bathroom key?'” -Yeah. Did you
have student-debt crisis? Do you have loans?
-I didn’t. I’m lucky. -Yeah.
-I’m lucky. I did not have student debt. You know,
I have immigrant parents, and they forced me
to live at home, so I don’t have
crippling student debt. -Yeah. -I have crippling
emotional debt. -Oh, sure, of course. -Yeah, and Congress has yet to
do anything about that. -Yeah.
Likely never to be repaid. Hey, man, it’s always such
a pleasure to see you. Can’t wait for your show to
be back in November. Thanks for being here.
-Thank you, buddy. -Hasan Minhaj, everybody.