Humor And Solace In Muslim-America With Maz Jobrani

Download Audio

With guest host Anthony Brooks.

After the murder of three young Muslim-Americans in Chapel Hill, we’ll open the phone lines for some serious talk with Muslim-American comedian Maz Jobrani.

Comedian and author Maz Jobrani stands next to a promotional photo for his ongoing book tour in Los Angeles, CA. (Courtesy Maz Jobrani)
Comedian and author Maz Jobrani stands next to a promotional photo for his ongoing book tour in Los Angeles, CA. (Courtesy Maz Jobrani)

Maz Jobrani’s memoir is called, “I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One on TV. And he has. Born in Iran, Jobrani came to the U.S. as a kid during the Iranian Revolution. But it was tough getting used to his adopted culture: baseball didn’t make sense and kids blamed him for the Iranian hostage crisis. And when casting directors came calling, they only wanted him to play kebab-eating, bomb-toting, terrorists.  So he did. But no more. Now, in the age of Charlie Hebdo and Muslim killings in North Carolina, he does comedy. This hour, On Point: Middle Eastern funny man, Maz Jobrani.
-- Anthony Brooks


Maz Jobrani, comedian and actor. Author of the new book, "I'm Not A Terrorist, But I've Played One On TV: Memoirs of a Middle Eastern Funny Man." (@MazJobrani)

From The Reading List

POLITICO Magazine: What Makes Muslims Laugh? — "The attacks in France have put satire in the Muslim world front and center. I am a standup comedian who has performed comedy in the Middle East in front of thousands of Muslims. And believe it or not, they laughed at plenty, especially when we poked fun at local culture. The Lebanese loved it when you would make fun of their driving and how in Lebanon a red light is just a suggestion to stop. In Dubai, they laughed when you would point out their obsession with doing everything big: the biggest building in the world, the biggest mall, the biggest fireworks show ever—so big that neighboring Bahrain thought it was  under attack. The Jordanians laughed when I told them I found out our comedy DVD had a Jordanian distribution deal—which is when one Jordanian buys it and everyone else sees it. Also known as a bootleg."

Mother Jones: Bombs Sometimes, Kills Often, But Maz Jobrani Swears He Isn't a Terrorist  -- "Maz Jobrani's parents really didn't want him to be a comedian. Perhaps a lawyer, or a prosperous businessman, as his father was before the 1979 Iranian revolution compelled the family to resettle in Northern California. But Jobrani, now 42, eventually left grad school to follow his dreams. He was cast as an expendable terrorist in a Chuck Norris flick and a reluctant one on 24 before he told his agent enough with the stereotypical roles."


Raleigh News & Observer: FBI launches new investigation into Chapel Hill killings; thousands mourn in Raleigh -- "As thousands of mourners prayed for the three Muslim-American students killed in Chapel Hill this week, the FBI opened its own investigation into the case Thursday. In a brief news release late in the day, the FBI said it had launched 'a parallel preliminary inquiry to determine whether or not any federal laws were violated related to the case.'"

Read An Excerpt Of "I'm Not A Terrorist, But I've Played One On TV" By Maz Jobrani

This program aired on February 16, 2015.


More from On Point

Listen Live