fri 14/08/2020

theartsdesk Q&A: Comedian Omid Djalili | reviews, news & interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Comedian Omid Djalili

theartsdesk Q&A: Comedian Omid Djalili

As he announces a new tour, the British-Iranian stand-up tells his unusual story

Omid Abu Abdul Ghassem Etihad Ebrahim Mamdouhh Djalili. But call him TrevorAll images by Charlotte MacMillan

Omid Djalili is a funny man with a funny provenance. There are not many stand-ups about who speak the languages of Presidents Havel and Ahmedinejad, who have played both Muslims and Jews without being either one or the other, whose CV includes stints performing Berkoff in Slovak and playing Whoopi Goldberg’s sidekick on NBC. In fact none. Djalili is by his own admission an accidental comedian. Though born (in 1965) in the United Kingdom, his Iranian roots made him an intriguing curiosity when he ditched acting for telling jokes. Then the War on Terror turned his comedy into a timely window on the Middle East.

I wanted to call my show The Law of Diminishing Charisma. Once people realised I was just a Brit it wasn’t so funny any more

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