FAILOSOPHY host Hasan Minhaj previews the show’s Thursday premiere

Tonight at 10:30/9:30c, FAILOSOPHY premieres on MTV.  The new show finds host Hasan Minhaj and a panel of comedians breaking down what’s going on with the internet through a series of segments designed to make you relate to these mishaps and laugh hysterically at ones you hope to never experience.  I chatted with Hasan about how this show came to be, and what we can expect on a weekly basis –

I’ve had days where I look at an internet meme and I’m suddenly crying with laughter.
I feel like we spend so much time on social media that these are the things that we see, and the show gives us an opportunity to put it on a platform, make fun of it, and break it all down.

Talk about the show – was it something that you approached MTV about doing, or did they approach you?  How did it come together?
basically where it came from – it started like this.  Jim Biederman, who is a producer of the show, is very popular in the comic world, he produced THE WHITEST KIDS YOU KNOW, KIDS IN THE HALL, so he has a very history with sketch comedy.  He, along with two other comedians named Evan and Gareth, Evan Mann and Gareth Reynolds, they came up with the idea of the show.  They had seen some of my online material, and it was a perfect pair.  They’d been looking for a host with a comedic perspective and had seen a lot of my viral videos, and it was like, this is a perfect fit.  I’ve gone after a lot of internet memes, like Ashton Kutcher’s PopChips controversy, or Chris Brown at the Grammys.  I’ve done a lot of that sort of stuff that I call The Truth with Hasan Minhaj.  They saw me being really topical and comedic.

Talk a little bit about what a typical episode of the show will do from start to finish?
Basically what happens on the show – this is basically what happens.  It’s like, we open up the show, and we’ll do a segment where we’ll see what’s trending online.  We’ll see what hashtags are trending and then we just pull them right off of Twitter and we comment on them, on what people are tweeting on the interwebs.  A lot of those hashtags, Hashtag What Girls Want – the things that people post are pretty interesting.  Another segment that we have – we have a segment where we do, it’s called “Dramatized” where people have submitted crazy stories that have actually happened to them, and we recreate it through a sketch.  We had a little bit of drama to it, and call it Dramatized, and then we actually Skype interview that person.  One story that someone submitted that was super crazy, you know how at like Dunkin Donuts, people throw away at the end of the day, they throw away old donuts?  A guy basically waited in the back of Dunkin Donuts and tried to basically garbage dive into the dumpster and ended up getting all of this slime and gunk all over him in the process.  He threw up and wasn’t able to enjoy the donuts.

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We recreated that through a sketch while he narrates. We also have a live segment portion where we poll the audience and they submit their crazy stories, and we ask the panelists like, which of these three people do you think, hooked up with a guy in their home-ec class or whatever crazy story.  It’s really involved.  It’s kind of a party vibe, atmosphere.  I think that’s what MTV was trying to create.  The panelist portion of the show is when I take a lot of specific text message exchanges and we break it down with a panel of comedians.  We have a great panel of comedians and MTV talent drop by.  One game that we play where we pull up all of these photos that are like, GTL, and we kind of make fun of them!  We have another segment where we talk about the failed text message exchanges between a person’s parents and them.  A lot of moms have cell phones now and autocorrect does not do them well!  Those are a lot of the segments you see on the show.  It’s really fun.

failosophy_hasanminhajI like the idea that there are comedians from the NY comedy scene – can you talk about some of the panelists?
There are a bunch of awesome, awesome comedians that got to be a part of the show.  I’m from Los Angeles, and NY is like the mecca of comedy, so we got to work with so many great NY comedians. People like Andrew Schulz, Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer, who have their own late night talk show on MTV called NIKKI & SARA. Chris DiStefano. Sabrina Jalees, some of the great different stand-up comedians and comedic performers that live in New York.  We had a lot of other people from the MTV family, like Andrew Schulz and Charlamagne Tha God; all these guys came over from GUY CODE.  Damien Lemon from GUY CODE. So we get to see comedians and MTV personalities and add their comedic perspectives.  If the feedback could be anything like GUY CODE, which has been a tremendous success for MTV2, that would be great, it would be awesome.

What sets this apart from TOSH or THE SOUP?
The difference between kind of TOSH and other clip shows – while they’re in the same kind of family, the comedian breaking down web content, it’s this specific web content that we focus on.  TOSH and THE SOUP, they break down clips, online clips.  People falling down stairs, pets being crazy for their owners.  We focus on the day to day stuff that people put online.  We’ll do text messages, we’ll do people’s Facebook profiles.  We’ll break down people’s dating profiles.  You know how they have that thing called Yahoo Answers, where people submit crazy questions?  Usually, they’re normal questions.  Hey, I need help troubleshooting my printer.  Hey, I need help; the camera function is broken on my camera.  Hey, my stuff isn’t working right now, can you help me diagnose the problem.  We found some crazy questions.  One girl was like, hey, there’s a pingpong ball stuck in my vagina; I need help.  There’s another guy who’s like, how do I turn off Caps Lock?  In all caps.  It’s stuff like that, the day to day stuff that you can find online, that we go through using social media.  If you’re into Buzzfeed and Reddit, this show’s for you.  If you love crazy internet memes, FAILOSOPHY is your show.