With ‘Patriot Act,’ Hasan Minhaj Wants To Tell Stories That Are Both Urgent And Timeless

Mark Seliger for Netflix

Trying to nail down a time to talk to Hasan Minhaj about Patriot Act, his new Netflix series, is quite the challenge. Not that this should come as a surprise, though, because the former Daily Show correspondent turned Netflix comedy star is in high demand these days. Not only did the streaming service give him and his team an “unprecedented” 32-episode order for Patriot Act, but his sketch comedy troupe Goatface will soon drop a new special on Comedy Central. So yeah, getting in touch is tough, but not impossible.

So after some production schedule shifts and a last-minute showrunner meeting, Minhaj graciously hopped on the phone to chat about the final days before the Patriot Act premiere drops this Sunday. Understandably tired but ready to go, the 33-year-old comedian laughs when I ask him how exhausted he is, and whether or not the 32-episode order was a bit much. Despite all the long days and numerous delays, however, Minhaj is no less excited about the prospect of doing something entirely new.

Sounds like you’ve had a pretty busy day.

I mean, we’re launching a show and it’s that time, you know? It’s all the jitters. It’s all the excitement, the cuts, the edits, the tweaks and the revisions of the final thing before you show it to the world.

Do you thrive in these kinds of moments? Or do you find that you sometimes need a break?

I think the biggest thing that I try to do in those moments of pure chaos and excitement is, I just try to quiet things down in my head. I try to really think about, “What do I want to say and share with the world?” Sometimes that gets tough, but I try to remind myself as an artist that the best things I’ve contributed to in my career have been those times when I’ve honored those things that I really, really feel deep down in my heart.

Netflix gave you guys a 32-episode order from the get-go. Was that a big confidence booster, or did you see it as more of a challenge?