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FUNATICAL: Taking Comedy to the Extreme //

byMarwa Helal

Egyptian-American Muslim comedian and actor Ahmed Ahmed headlines FUNATICAL: Taking Comedy to the Extreme’s “We Come in Peace Tour” on Thursday, April 14 at Arlington Cinema and Saturday, April 16 at Ernst Cultural Theater in the Washington D.C. metro area. The tour, which is produced by an interfaith team, aims to break stereotypes and bridge gaps between Muslims, Jews, Christians and other major faiths. Maria Shehata, another prominent Egyptian-American Christian comedian is also featured in the show, alongside Palestinian-American Muslim comedian Said Durrah, and a diverse line-up including Matt Kazam (Jewish Iranian; NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”), Omar Regan (African-American Muslim; Rush Hour 2) and Paul Singh (South Asian Punjabi; Apollo Theater, Laugh Factory). The cast will lampoon current events, culture, religion and politics through clean comedy. FEN got the chance to speak with Said Durrah about the show…

Q: What are you looking forward to most on the FUNATICAL stage?
A: I want to show everyone what a young, Muslim, Arab kid can do. I’ve quietly been able to do a lot in comedy  since I started and I’ve done it while many people told me I would never amount to anything especially if I openly spoke about my culture and religion.

Q. What makes a platform like FUNATICAL important?

If you think about it, whenever world leaders want to show they are making historical or landmark moves to push aside their differences there is always an image of a handshake in front of an important building or table. FUNATICAL is a tour that allows that to happen each and every night these comedians take the stage.

The audience walks in with their favorite comic or two that they paid to see, but they leave feeling like they never knew a comedian like the other guy or girl existed, and not only do they exist…they were hilarious.

Q: How is this different than other shows you’ve done?
A: Well, I think this is truly one of those shows that you really have no idea what to expect, even as a comedian. You know it will be hilarious based on the talent in the show and everyone’s impressive resumes, but you are excited
to see it unfold. Normally, a lot of religions and cultures keep to themselves because they believe if one comedian is different than the rest then it might be weird for the flow of the show. Quite the opposite happens with FUNATICAL; apples and oranges can mix and it tastes great!

Q: So…in short?
A: You can sit at a comedy club every night for a whole year and hope to see a handful of comedians that make you laugh and change how you look at things, but a year of tickets to a comedy club gets expensive…do yourself a favor and come see the stars of FUNATICAL and get your fix in one night. See you April 14 and 16!

For more about the tour, the cast and how to get your tickets, check out the FUNATICAL website >>

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