Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi’s Halal in the Family premiered online last week after a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. He stopped by Fusion’s America With Jorge Ramos to talk about the brand new web series, which co-stars House of Cards actress Sakina Jaffrey.
Styled as an old-school sitcom, complete with canned laughter and studio audience applause breaks, Halal in the Family is intended as a clever antidote to “stereotypes and misinformation about Muslims.” The show is even produced with the guidance of an advisory council of civil rights groups.
Mandvi, who says he identifies as an actor more than as a comedian, tells Ramos that satire is a “great access point” for difficult issues like prejudice, race, and religion. He hopes Halal in the Family will “start a conversation.”
In addition to tackling Islamophobia, the show also pokes fun at Muslims who “overcompensate” to blend in with white America, like his Qu’osby sweater (get it?)-wearing patriarch character Aasif Qu’osby.
“[We] parody not only the racism and the bigotry and point out the absurdity of that, but also a lot of those Muslims who are so scared of being seen,” Mandvi says.
America With Jorge Ramos airs on Fusion Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET.