New York City stand-up comic Dean Obeidallah has won The Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy. Obeidallah, whose mother is Sicilian and whose father is Palestinian, peppers his act with stories of living in post-9/11 America as an Arab-American, from having every cashier who sees his credit card ask him "exactly what kind of name is Obeidallah" to his own twisted ideas for improving Arab-American relations.
The Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy was created this year by the New York Underground Comedy Festival to honor comedians who spotlight political and societal issues in their acts. It was named for the late, influential comedian/cultural philosopher Bill Hicks, who died of pancreatic cancer in 1994. Obeidallah was presented with the award at an October tribute to Hicks held at NYC's Laugh Factory. He was selected by Hicks' mother, Mary Reese Hicks.