Ahmed Ahmed is a triple threat: he's an actor, comedian, and producer.
He's also the kind of guy you want to grab a beer with, which works well for him in his latest role on TBS's "Sullivan & Son". Ahmed joins an all-star cast of comedians on "Sullivan & Son," including co-creator Steve Byrne, Owen Benjamin, and Roy Wood, Jr., where they create a cultural melting pot and overcome stereotypes- all in a half-hour's time.
The television cast is now bringing their brand of funny to a venue near you, on the road this summer all across America. Ahmed sat down with the Examiner to discuss just how it's going.
Question: How's the tour been going so far? Any highlights?
Answer: The tour has been going great! It's Steve Byrne, Roy Wood Jr., Owen Benjamin and myself so we're like a four headed monster. We're traveling across America performing in twenty-two cities promoting "Sullivan & Son" and it's been great.
Question: Have you ever been to New Orleans before? Is there anything in particular you're looking forward to?
Answer: I have been to New Orleans before. My friend Rio Hackford owns One Eyed Jacks where we will be performing. I'm looking forward to seeing him and enjoying some Cajun food!
Question: How does "Sullivan & Son" the television hit translate into a stand up show?
Answer: It's all about promoting the show, but we don't really talk about the TV show on stage. It's more about our individual stand up comedy acts. We close the show with all of us together on stage with short songs and improvise with the audience.
Question: What's life on the road with the guys been like?
Answer: All these guys are my best friends, and we are all so different so it's fun in the sense that we all like different things and open to each other's likes and needs. Some like to work out, some like movies, some like sleep and some like to eat at local spots. We always try something new in each city together. We also all inspire each other as artists so it's been a great creative process. We do press every morning (local radio and TV) then perform shows at night, then meet and greet with fans after. Then jump in the car and drive through the night to the next city and do it all over again.
Question: Where did you get your start and what are you most proud of to date? I know you've had some great experiences doing stand-up comedy in the Middle East.
Answer: I got my start at The Comedy Store in Hollywood, California. Mitzi Shore, the owner, handpicked me in 1999 and gave me a platform to hone my craft. I would say I'm most proud of my 2009 documentary film "Just Like Us" where I took ten American comedians to Dubai, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and performed in front of 20,000 Arabs and Muslims. We premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival and then were selected into 30 international film festivals after that. Being on "Sullivan & Son" makes me equally as proud in that I get to play a mainstream Arab character on a sitcom and work with my best friends Steve Byrne (the star and creator), Vince Vaughn and Peter Billingsley, who are the Executive Producers. It's a dream come true.
The "Sullivan & Son" cast sets their sights on One Eyed Jack's in New Orleans on Saturday, August 23rd. Tickets can be purchased here.