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After finding a dearth of substantive characters available to him in Hollywood, Aasif Mandvi figured out he'd have to create the roles himself. He tells Kim Masters how a one-man play led to opportunities on The Daily Show and beyond. Now, Mandvi has created and stars in the new Funny or Die web series Halal in the Family, which he describes as a Muslim-American Cosby Show. He shares why he thinks it's beyond time for a Muslim-American sitcom and weighs in on the Trevor Noah controversy.

Photo: Aasif Mandvi in his new Funny or Die web series Halal in the Family

Hollywood News Banter 6 MIN, 53 SEC

Matt Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

- Star Wars fans freak out as a new teaser is revealed at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. Between the new Star Wars movie and the upcoming Marvel films, Disney is set to be the big winner at the box office this year.
- You've got to wonder what's going on at Wonder Woman. The Warner Bros. movie lost and gained a woman director last week. Why is it so difficult to find female directors for superhero movies?
- The leaked Sony emails and documents that first became public after the hack attack late last year are now available on Wikileaks. Sony has condemned the release.

'Halal in the Family' 20 MIN, 29 SEC

In a landmark year for diversity on television, there's still not a sitcom that portrays a Muslim-American family. Aasif Mandvi would like to change that, and believes his new Funny or Die web series, Halal in the Family, is a step in the right direction.

The Daily Show correspondent tells us how a theater kid who grew up in Northern England ended up going on the air with Jon Stewart the very same day he auditioned for the job. Mandvi also shares why someone losing their job after a Daily Show interview isn't always great news for those on the show staff.

Today, Mandvi still makes appearances on The Daily Show, but he's also got a project all his own. Halal in the Family is a new web series on Funny or Die that takes the tropes of a classic American sitcom -- the bumbling father, wise mother, a loud laugh track -- and applies them to a Muslim-American family in a way that's entertaining, but also carries a larger message about battling anti-Muslim bias.

And we couldn't let Mandvi go without asking him about Trevor Noah. Mandvi says if he were America's therapist, he'd tell everyone to relax. He agrees with Jon Stewart and thinks audiences should give Noah a chance.

Mandvi's next project will be the upcoming HBO dark comedy, The Brink, premiering this summer.

Aasif Mandvi, actor and comedian (@aasif)


Kim Masters
Matthew Belloni

Kaitlin Parker

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