Kumail’s Hijack by the Accidental Racist

Earlier this week, Amardeep introduced us to the hilarious Desi comedian Kumail Nanjiani. Little did I know till dinner conversation last night that Kumail had recently been comedy hijacked by the Accidental Racist (via Angry Asian Man).

The story goes like this – Kumail was scheduled to do a comedy set at the Slipper Room a couple weeks ago, when John Mayer (the musician) showed up unannounced to the show and jumped on the mic for an unscheduled five minute comedy performance… that turned into an awkward twenty minutes. Mayer’s comedy bit on the mic ate into Kumail’s scheduled performance time. Allright, fine. A famous musical douchebag takes the mic, and feels entitled to hog a comedy stage. To be expected, I guess. But then, he turned into a racist douchebag.

To hear Nanjiani tell the story, he was somewhat rattled after having had his set time cut by John Mayer, but things got awkward after Mayer referred to the Pakistan-born Kumail as “Kabul.” Whoops! Making matters even worse, Mayer apparently then began heckling Nanjiani onstage, telling him that “he looked like a brown guy but sounded like a white guy.” Double whoops! [vulture]

Check out an interview with Kumail below. They refer to John Mayer as the accidental racist at the 4:25 point.

Comedians say racist remarks all the time doing stand up. But I think what sets this apart is that, well frankly, Mayer isn’t a comedian and he hijacked a comedy set with pompous entitlement. Secondly, he interupted Kumail’s set to heckle him with racist comments.

In the words of Angry Asian Man, “Thinking you can be an actual standup comic is one thing, but interrupting another comic’s set, then making jokes about the Brown man? That’s racist! Stick to the music, Mayer (if you must).”

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

64 thoughts on “Kumail’s Hijack by the Accidental Racist

  1. so, is “piece of shit” ok, liz? what about “nosy”? should amputees feel bad when i say somebody was “stumped” for an answer?

  2. Dude is a comedian he was suppose to fry Mayer as soon as he started heckling him. Most comedians clown the hell out of hecklers

    Yeah I was just thinking about that. Meyer seems like a slow witted sap so after he said ‘You look like a brown man talking like a white man’ Kumail should have just said, ‘hey, you look like a white man talking like a insert hilarious obscenity here‘ and then let rip on Meyer’s mother, like ‘yeah, I’m brown and talk like a white man, that’s what first attracted your mother to me’ hehehe

    Come on Kumail, you should have done better.

    Anyway, Meyer is still a horrible douchebag.

  3. Folks, think carefully before going down this road. You know what this means, don’t you? If Jennifer Aniston gets back with John Mayer (are they together? What is going on with those two crazy kids in search of the dream of love?), this means that no desi can watch an episode of Friends ever again. Ever. Again. Are you willing to risk that damage to the desi TV watching fabric?

  4. Rahul wrote:

    this means that no desi can watch an episode of Friends ever again. Ever. Again.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  5. misanthrope: You’re not really going to be checking in with me about what insults are “okay” to sling, are you? ‘Cause I don’t have that kind of free time.

    But if you’re just trying to call me out on caring too much about what kind of language is “okay” or “not okay” or some shit like that (i.e. “the PC police are censoring me, you guys!”), go play in traffic. First of all, I’m not asking you to remove anything from your vocabulary. Second of all, like it or not, language matters (she wrote on a post about how it’s really not okay for a white dude to tell a brown dude that he “sounds like a white man”).

  6. misanthrope: You’re not really going to be checking in with me about what insults are “okay” to sling, are you? ‘Cause I don’t have that kind of free time.

    you were so kind as to grace us with a thesis on douching, so i figured it was safer to check in with you.

    go play in traffic

    thank you for telling me that i should go kill myself. i am sure that is appropriate.

  7. Allright Lizzie & misanthrope – calm down attacking banter.

    I actually let misanthrope’s & Shallow Thinker’s comment slide with an eye roll – I thought they were just mimicing Mayer’s comic genius and totally apropos considering the post.

    Play nice, please. Thanks.

  8. Well it is obvious the comedian was offended that John Mayer made those racist insensitive comments. I always thought John Mayer was a creep. I think the comedian was upset because John Mayer hijacked his set and then insults the man!

  9. But for all the effort he puts in his jokes, his wuss-rock remains the prime source of comedy.

    Indeed. And I second the whole douchebag thingy.