"Evil" Makes Good

Comedy Friday, September 28

click to enlarge (From left) Aron Kader, Maz Jobrani and Ahmed Ahmed - David Zaugh
David Zaugh
(From left) Aron Kader, Maz Jobrani and Ahmed Ahmed

Three Los Angeles-based comics of Middle Eastern descent who found themselves affected by post-9/11 intolerance are using it to their advantage. In March, Ahmed Ahmed, Aron Kader and Maz Jobrani premiered their Axis of Evil Comedy Special on Comedy Central. Each comic offers his own personal take on racial profiling, day-to-day stereotyping, and politics. Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed discusses his acting attempts and being typecast as a terrorist, the hierarchy of racism in America, and Googling himself only to discover his name matches that of a Middle Eastern terrorist. Iranian-American comedian Jobrani makes jokes about the foot-in-mouth proclamations of President Bush and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, pretending he's Christian for the sake of his girlfriend's parents, and denying his Iranian heritage by claiming he's Persian. "Like the cat. Meow." And Kader credits his Palestinian father and Morman mother for his career in comedy, his stand-up routine touching on topics ranging from visiting the Middle East and listening to his friend's anti-American diatribes right before said friend offers him Starbucks, to the public's general ignorance about Palestine. The trio bring their "Axis of Evil Comedy Tour" to a stage near you this Friday night; guest Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah joins them. Fri., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m., Ferguson Hall-Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, downtown Tampa, $28.28 and $38.25, 813-229-7827, tbpac.org.