Kumail Nanjiani[Starts with SNL monologue intro] [Cut to SNL stage] [Band is playing music]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, Kumail Nanjiani.[Kumail Nanjiani walks in and to the stage] [cheers and applause]
Kumail Nanjiani: Wow. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Haha. I’m hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ right now. That is what is happening. I’m so excited. I can’t believe I’m here. I remember, since I was a little kid in Pakistan, I remember on Saturday nights, my whole family would get together and watch ‘Star Trek’. We didn’t get ‘Saturday Night Live.’ This is awesome. Um, I had a movie earlier this summer called ‘The Bic Sick’. [Cheers and applause] Thank you. Um, people who don’t know, ‘The Big Sick’ is the true story of the first year of the relationship between my eventual wife and I, and my wife Emily is a white American person. And my parents wanted me to marry a Muslim Pakistani person. Things didn’t quite go their way– I’m getting ahead of myself. I was the second person from my family to leave Pakistan and come to the west. I had an uncle decades before me who was going to Scotland and the Nanjianis were very excited. And they were like, “Hey, remember the deal. Be good.” And he was like, “Yeah. Got it.” And then he got to Scotland, fell in love with a white woman, married her and the Nanjianis were like, “Never again. Let’s regroup. Let’s tighten this up.” And then for decades, nobody left. The next person who left was me 40 years later. I came to America, fell in love with a white woman, married her, and then made a movie about it. Just to rub it in their face. Nanjiani-0, white women-2. When I called my mom to tell her, she wasn’t even upset. She was like, “You know what? This time, shame on us.”
The movie was well received, mostly. I read everything online which don’t do that. I read a guy said, “I watched the whole movie. I just don’t like race mixing thing.” Yeah. First of all, nobody good ever uses the phrase “race mixing”. Even if someone was like, “I’m pro-race-mixing,” I’d be like, “Why are you talking like that? Are you an undercover KKK dragon?” The other thing, why did you watch the whole movie? Were you hoping for a twist at the end? did you think at the end I’d rip off my mask like, “Ha-ha, it’s me, Chris Pine. I am a white person.” The only thing worth mixing is frisbee and golf. Let’s go eat some ranch dressing.
My twitter mentions were a little bit of a nightmare after the movie. A lot of people were like, “Go back to India!” Which I have never been to India. Or were you just hoping I have an awesome vacation soon? Here’s my fantasy. This is my fantasy. My fantasy is when someone’s racist to me, I want to danger to befall them immediately. And then I want to rescue them just to see the confused look on their face. Like, I want them to be like, “Go back to India. Ha-ha. Wolves!” And then I fight off the wolves and they’re like, “We were racist to you and you still saved us.” and I go, “That is the way of my people.”
Islamophobia is really on the rise right now. It never went away but it’s really having a moment right now. Islamophobia is kind of like ‘Will and grace’. You know. It was a huge a while ago, then it was gone and we thought it was done but now it’s back and bigger than ever. Thursdays on NBC. They make me say that.
I saw a guy be like, “Of course all muslims are sexist. The Quran says women can’t drive.” Yeah, pretty sure the Quran never said that. Because if the Quran had said women can’t drive cars 1400 years ago, I would be at the mosque right now and so would all of you. Because that would mean the Quran predicted cars. If 1400 years ago, the Quran was like, “Some day there will be metallic box that will carry you wherever you want. And it will have four wheels. And you will have to put gasoline in it. And it will have a little speedometer to tell you how fast you are going. And it will have a bluetooth connection. And women shouldn’t drive it.” I would be like, “I know two things for sure. Islam is the only true religion and women shouldn’t drive.” [applause]
I am so glad you laughed at that coz otherwise it sounds like I’m just giving a divisive speech. “Islam is the only true religion and women shouldn’t drive.” That will definitely be the quote on the internet tomorrow.
Sikh people get attacked all the time for being Muslim. Spoiler alert, they’re not. But they’re brown and they wear turbans so people attack them for being Muslim. Which must put them in such an awkward position because they’re like, “I”m not Muslim. Not that you should attack Muslims. But if you’re looking to attack Muslims, which you shouldn’t, I’m not one. There is a Muslim right over there. Don’t attack him. Unless somebody’s definitely getting attacked, in which case, get it right, which is wrong.”
Which brings me to my problem with most racism. Here is my problem with most racism. It’s the inaccuracy. That’s what bugs me. I’m like, “Do the research! Put in work! You will see the benefits.” I’ll give you an example. If someone yells at me, “Go back to India,” I’d be like, “That guy’s an idiot.” But if someone was like, “Go back to Pakistan which was part of India until 1947 and is now home to the world’s world’s oldest salt mine,” I would be like, “that guys seems to know what he’s talking about. I’ll pack my bags.” Just because you’re racist doesn’t mean you have to be ignorant. And informed racist is a better racist.
We’ve got a great show for you tonight. Pink is here. Stick around and we’ll be right back.