The comics of Arabs Gone Wild packed the house Saturday night at The Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. Both of the evening’s shows had Chicagoans flocking in for a night of debauchery with America’s funniest Arabs. Poking fun at stereotypes and showing that Arabs actually do have a sense of humor were the underlying themes of the show.
Hosted by the charismatic Aron Kader, the tour was cleverly dubbed “The Comedy Revolution.” Kader kept the crowd giggling with impromptu accents and imitations of his Arab relatives who constantly insist on feeding him. Force feeding your guests lamb brains, joked Kader, crosses the line from traditional Arab hospitality into kidnapping. Chicago’s Arab-issh comics, Khaled the Comic and Mo Na, were also featured in Saturday’s show. Khaled was hilarious combining his laid back style with a subtle edge that had the crowd rolling.
Dean Obeidallah, the cofounder of Arabs Gone Wild, entertained with his clever wit covering topics from dating Arab women to fear of flying with Arabs. He engaged members of the audience asking a blonde in the front row if she had been “taken hostage” by the brown people surrounding her. Obeidallah’s specialty is making fun of and challenging stereotypes such as the deep love Arabs have for cigarette smoking. He joked about one jogger he saw on a treadmill in Amman, Jordan who had a cigarette in hand as he ran. “I can feel the burn here and here,” joked Obeidallah pointing to his legs and chest while pretending to smoke a cigarette and run.
Maysoon Zayid, co-founder with Obeidallah of Arabs Gone Wild, stole the show with her animated comedy. Her style was therapeutic, making light of difficult situations including Palestinian refugees and her own disability. First, Zayid assured the crowd that she was not drunk. Rather, she explained, she was born in the great state of New Jersey and was therefore; most likely delivered by Snooki, which causes her to shake uncontrollably. Furthermore, Zayid described how a 33-year-old Arab woman with cerebral palsy “catches” a husband. She wears her American passport around her neck and parades it around a refugee camp in Gaza asking, “you want a green card baby?” Her humor ranged from Arabic to English and no topic was off limits for the queen of Arab-American comedy.
The Comedy Revolution will be making appearances in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. The show is a cultural as well as a comical experience and laughter is guaranteed. Tickets can be purchased here.