Aasif Mandvi’s Web Series ‘Halal in the Family’ Tries to Combat Anti-Muslim Bias Through Comedy

By Adam Flomenbaum Comment

Aasif Mandvi made his name as ‘The Daily Show’s’ Senior Muslim Correspondent, and starting today, Mandvi takes his distinct brand of humor to Funny or Die in a new sitcom, ‘Halal in the Family.’

The web series, which examines anti-Muslim bias through humor, stemmed from a 2011 ‘Daily Show’ segment that explored this bias (and starred Mandvi). The show was developed in coordination with the strategic communications firm ‘Moore + Associates,’ which had already been working on a campaign to combat anti-Muslim bias. Series themes were also chosen with input from a diverse group of Muslim, interfaith, and civil rights organization.

“Through my work on ‘The Daily Show,’ I saw how satire can open people’s eyes and shift perspectives on controversial topics,” says Mandvi. “With ‘Halal in the Family’ I had a chance to create an all-American Muslim family dealing with common forms of ignorance and prejudice, resolving them – in classic sitcom fashion –by the end of each episode. I’m excited that all four episodes will premiere on Funny Or Die, which is a trail blazer in the world of comedy.”

It will be interesting to see if Mandvi can pull off the difficult feat of advancing his cause (and even more difficult to do well: with input from organizations) while keeping the show genuinely funny. If the four-episode sitcom performs well, networks may come calling.