Elevate Difference

Arab-American Comedy Tour

Most of the time stand-up comedy is either hot or cold for me, but Arab-American Comedy Tour was lukewarm. Dean Obeidallah made being politically insightful hilarious, but the stereotyping and misconceptions began to be redundant. I do think some of the material was fresh. What I liked about Dean was that he is versatile. What I loved about him is that I always fall for guys with good mock-Bush impressions.

Ahmed Ahmed reminded me of off-brand Jerry Seinfield, but with repetitive storytelling and observations. Ahmed was kind of stale, and I felt like he was trying to send me subliminal messages when he repeated his name over and over.. and over. Maysoon Zayid, the founder of The Arab-American Comedy Tour, let me down by being a somewhat typical Arab-American woman: a Virgin (because she's not married) and sort of insecure about not being married in the first place.

When you're used to seeing angry, crazy white guys on stage, this is definitely something to look forward to. At the same time, I expected there to be a lot of talk about the misconceptions and stereotypes of Arab-Americans and, unfortunately, I was right. The positive is that I do think it's great that this DVD is a step toward a greater color palette on mainstream TV and film. The negative is that what really matters is if it's funny or not, and two out of the three comedians nearly put me to sleep.

Written by: Jessaruh, February 26th 2007

While I agree with some of this writer's criticism, I must say that I found Maysoon Zayid to be the highlight of this DVD. She brought a fresh take to the experience of a Muslim woman, with all of the trails and tribulations that come from the paradox of simultaneously embracing and rejecting ones cultural and religious upbringing. I also think this writer is discounting the power that these comics are reclaiming by making jokes about the myths and stereotypes that abound about Arabs and Muslims, particularly in the United States. I found the DVD highly refreshing and entertaining.