American Iranian Friendship Council

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Evil Doers Ltd; A Laughter Roundup from the Middle East.- Nov 7, 2008

These are the Comedy performers we are hosting this coming November 7th at PCPA.
Comedian and Arab American Dean Obeidallah put it best when he said, "The problem is that people are afraid of us because they don't really know who we are. There are basically two news stories about us...There is the bad story where we are described as militant gunman or terrorist, or the good story where we are described as alleged militant gunman or terrorist."

Citizen Jimmy: Click here!
Jimmy Dore was born into a Catholic family of twelve in a very blue-collar neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Tagged a rebel for occasionally reading a book and thinking for himself, Jimmy quickly turned to comedy to ease the pain of the beatings.

In 1995, Jimmy moved to Los Angeles to get on television and it actually worked. He has appeared on every major network multiple times. The high point of Jimmy's stand-up career came when he taped his own one hour Special for Comedy Central Jimmy Dore: Citizen Jimmy. The special which was taped at The Filmore in San Francisco is set to air Friday August 1, 2008.

Jimmy played the hilarious neighbor on AMC’s Movies at My House. And was invited to perform at the 2003 HBO’s US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. The Hollywood Reporter said Jimmy was among the five comics at the festival that generated the most "buzz" (whatever the fuck that means).

Jimmy is also a writer/performer for the critically acclaimed Off Broadway hit, The Marijuana-logues, which is currently running at the Actor's Playhouse in New York. It was a role Jimmy first played at the Melbourne Comedy festival in April of 2003.

He first appeared on Comedy Central’s Make Me Laugh, fulfilling a life long dream of turning an art form into a cheesy, basic-cable game show. Unfortunately it went well and he was booked to do four more, an experience that Jimmy warmly refers to as “embarrassing” and " tough to watch". Then, in 1997, he was invited to Montreal, Canada to perform at the Just for Laughs international comedy festival. He caught the eye of NBC talent scouts and producers (Okay, it was only one guy, but he was impressed enough for three) and was given a spot on NBC’s Friday Night! He quickly became a show favorite (true) and was signed to make five return appearances.

From there Jimmy has gone on to make multiple stand-out appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and two winning performances on NBC’s Late Friday (winning performance, how do you like that adjective?). Then Jimmy flew to New York and donned a suit to appear on Comedy Centrals Premium Blend. He’s done a bunch of other stuff that you can see on his resume, including hosting Pilot's for Comedy Central and AMC.

But Jimmy says all the hard work was worth it if for nothing else to see his mother’s face the first time she ever came to see him perform. It was at the MGM in Las Vegas, and Jimmy had just stepped off stage when his mother whispered in his ear, “Well I’ll say one thing, I sure am hungry”. Damn right she was. Damn right.

Ahmed Ahmed
Born in Helwan, Egypt June 27th, 1970. Parents immigrated to the US when he was one month old and grew up in Riverside, CA. Moved to Hollywood when he was 19 years old to pursue a career as an actor and stand up comedian. Attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts for one year and studied with various acting coaches such as Cliff Osmond, Ivana Chubbuck and Sandy Marshall.

Seen in such films and television shows as Iron Man, You Don't Mess With The Zohan, Swingers, Tracey Takes On, Roseanne, JAG, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn on Comedy Central and MTV's PUNK'D. Also appeared on CNN, The View, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and NPR. Was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal in December of 2001 and featured in Newsweek Magazine. Will be seen in the upcoming ONION MOVIE for FOX Searchlight. Currently can be seen on the Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD bonus track performing stand up comedy.

A paid regular performer at The World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood and tours all across America and Europe. Winner of the first annual Richard Pryor Award for ethnic comedy at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in Scotland summer of 2004.

Wrote an original screenplay titled "The Pilgrimage" based on his Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca). He also co-wrote the script "Google Me" with comedian Erik Griffin.

Tissa Hami:
Tissa Hami is one of the world's few female Muslim stand-up comics. Her unique act and fresh perspective on life as an Iranian-American woman leave audiences in shock and awe. From Islamic fundamentalists to white liberals to good old-fashioned racists, no one is safe from her sharp wit. Tissa hopes her comedy will help break down stereotypes about Muslim women and foster understanding between Iranians and Americans.

Tissa grew up in a traditional Iranian family in a predominantly white suburb of Boston. She holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in international affairs from Ivy League universities. Her parents are thrilled that she is using her expensive education to pursue a career in comedy.

People who disapprove of her act will be taken hostage.

Tissa performed for 10,000 people at First Night Boston 2005. She has been featured in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune, as well as on BBC radio and Australian and European television. In the US, Tissa has appeared on ABC's The View, the Hallmark Channel, and NPR. Her radio interview on Commonwealth Journal was awarded first place in the Public Affairs category for 2004 by the Associated Press of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Tissa is one of five comedians featured in the documentary, Stand Up: Muslim American Comics Come of Age. The film, which won a prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award, aired on PBS in May 2008.

Dan Ahdoot:
Dan went to college at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University and graduated with honors as a premed student. Shortly thereafter, he decided to take the secure route and ditch medicine for comedy - his parents are still thrilled. After graduating, Dan moved to New York City where he was instantly hailed as one of the hottest young comics on the scene. He performs regularly at every comedy club in Manhattan, and is a founding member of the highly acclaimed Upright Citizens Brigade based improv troupe, Gun Show.
Dan's standup act is based on his hilarious observations about everyday life as a young, hip kid living in New York City, coupled with his upbringing as a 1st generation American. His stage-presence blends charm, likeabilty, and wit in a way that keeps crowds in stitches and at the same time, very comfortable.
Dan was a finalist on Season 2 of NBCs Last Comic Standing. He is a staff writer on MTV’s Short Circuits, a new sketch comedy show featuring Nick Cannon. He has written for Comedy Central's Crank Yankers and was featured on Comedy Central's Premium Blend. He has opened for Lewis Black, Jay Mohr, and Patton Oswalt. He has been featured on ABCs 20/20, the 98.7 KISS FM Morning Comedy Special, and he is a regular on Jim Brueur's radio show Unleashed, on Sirius Satellite. He was awarded 1st prize at the Philadelphia Comedy Competition in 2003, the NYC Triad Comedy Competition in 2002. In addition, Dan is one of the highest book college acts in the country - performing well over 100 shows in 2007. He also performs at corporate events for a variety of companies and organizations.

Negin Farsad:

Making her parents' plea for immigration all the easier, Negin was born in the United States (New Haven, Connecticut) and grew up in the desert of Southern California. She first obtained a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and Government from Cornell University. Her dual interest in the arts and politics continued when she moved to New York City – writing and performing comedy by night while studying for a Masters degree in Race Relations at Columbia University by day. She followed that degree with a second Masters from Columbia at the School of International & Public Affairs with a focus on Urban Management. She worked as a senior policy advisor with the City of New York but eventually left for full-time uncertainty in the world of performing and visual arts.

Negin is director and executive producer of the upcoming feature film release, Nerdcore Rising, The film, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival, is called "hilarious & delightful" by Salon and "a laugh riot from the first scene" by the Boston Herald. She is also currently produced, directed and performing in the Comedy Central web series and TV pilot, The Watch List – the first show in the history of television to feature Middle-Eastern-American comics tackling international political issues. She originally earned her film chops as a producer and story editor on the film A Cricket in the Court of Akbar which was shot entirely on location in Rajasthan, India. She wrote, directed and appeared in the short film, Iran-ing on Empty - not at all shot on location in Iran - which has since been a selection of comedy festivals around the country (by which she means only two comedy festivals, both on the Eastern seaboard).

As a standup comedian she has opened for the likes of Al Franken in venues ranging from the Laugh Factory in New York, the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, and Town Hall on Broadway. Negin has provided original comedy content for Pacifica and Sirius Radio stations. As an active comedian she has earned a nomination for the Emerging Comics of New York Awards. Her solo show Bootleg Islam, which she wrote and performed, has appeared in the DC, Dallas, and Chicago Comedy Festivals among others. Her work has been called "smart, funny, and fascinating" by the Wall Street Journal, a Critic's Choice by the Chicago Tribune, "a shining exception," by the Dallas Morning News, and Backstage cheered that it "doesn't get much funnier than this!" And, to her parents chagrin, her masters degrees now collect dust…