Whoopi Goldberg defended Hasan Minhaj after claims that some jokes in his stand-ups are embellished.
On during a segment The view On Monday, Goldberg and her co-hosts took some time to discuss Minhaj, exaggerating things that have sometimes happened to him for the sake of jokes.
“That’s what we do,” Goldberg said of the role of comedians. “That’s what we do. We tell stories, and we embellish them.”
Goldberg then recalled a time when a reporter called to verify one of her stand-ups, saying she had a degree from New York University. She told the reporter she didn’t have a college degree and never said she did before realizing he was referring to one of her stand-up characters, Fontaine.
“When you keep a comic so long that you start checking out their stories,” she continued, “you have to understand that a lot of it isn’t exactly what happened, because why would we tell it? what exactly happened? That’s not that interesting.”
Towards the end of the segment about Minhaj, Goldberg doubled down and explained that many of the things comics joke about have some truth to them, but aren’t meant to be taken so seriously. “That’s our job,” the co-host concluded, “a seed of the truth, sometimes the truth and sometimes total BS.”
The segment followed a story published in The New Yorker revealing that parts of Minhaj’s on-stage anecdotes were apparently untrue and could not be verified, prompting the comedian to issue a statement.
“All my stand-up stories are based on events that happened to me,” he said The Hollywood Reporter. “I use the tools of stand-up comedy: hyperbole, changing names and locations, and compressing timelines to tell entertaining stories.”
He continued: “That is inherent to the art form. You wouldn’t go to a haunted house and say, “Why are these people lying to me?” – The point is the ride. Stand-up is the same.”