Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester review – a strong balance of jokes and storytelling

By Ricky Valero
Published: October 4, 2022 (Last updated: January 12, 2023)
Hasan Minhaj: The King's Jester review - a strong balance of jokes and storytelling


Hasan Minhaj can blend reality and jokes in a way that very few can. It’s not perfect, but worth your time.

This review of the Netflix film Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester does not contain spoilers.

The time has come for us to tackle the latest stand-up special streaming on Netflix, Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester. Is it worth checking out? Let’s dive in and see what Mr. Minhaj has in store for us.

I’ve wondered if I should start giving a rating on the comedian’s opening montage and/or stage. Because some comedians like Kevin Hart open with a movie montage or some open with a simple title drop with a picture like this one did. But another thing that catches my attention is the stage. What’s on the stage, and what isn’t on the stage? Do they have a drink? If they do, what are they drinking? If they don’t, how do they go an hour talking without anything to drink? Welcome to inside my brain.

So let me set the stage for you. The special starts, the words pop up on the screen with the title card, and boom, Minhaj opens with a joke. Now, for the stage, it’s relatively straightforward as we have this all-gray backdrop with what looks like a monopoly top hat as a seat for Minhaj to sit on. However, not a drink in sight. So I give him a solid B for opening/stage.

Alright, now for the jokes. Minhaj didn’t waste any time making us laugh within mere minutes of the special starting. He had a good bit about his wife being unable to have kids because of his sperm. Now, it starts strong, but the problem was we get ten minutes into the special, and the joke is still ongoing, and the bit lacked the steam it began with. It felt like he was beating the bit to death, which made it unfunny.

I’ll admit, my favorite bit was talking about his buddy from school who grew up to be a mini-Thor. He went from a skinny kid in high school to being jacked with a six-pack (the pictures were insane), leading to an incredible joke about Kumail Nanjiani and the photos he shared from being jacked for The Eternals. Something about how he built this joke made it funnier, and the use of pictures set it over the top.

One of the fascinating things Minahj can do is blend his comedy with real news. Throughout the special, he talks about his culture but does so in various ways, including talking about certain aspects of the information or stuff that happened to them that wasn’t right. He makes points about things while also delivering jokes simultaneously in a way that is rather brilliant. It isn’t on the side of preachy either because it’s him challenging society about the things that aren’t correct.

Overall, Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester delivers mostly, but Minhaj’s overlong bits can take away from his jokes. You take the good and the bad, and you end up with a solid stand-up special that you should definitely check out.

What did you think of Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester? Comment below.

You can watch this film with a subscription to Netflix.

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