maz jobrani (brown & friendly), cadogan hall

Maz Jobrani dances onto the stage...

Until I came out of the station, I hadn’t actually twigged that last night was the first time I had ever been to Sloane Square.  It’s an odd place.

Cadogan Hall however, was absolutely lovely – much bigger than I thought it was going to be.

I had got the tickets to see Maz Jobrani for free, and wasn’t really sure what to expect.  I knew that he was an Iranian American, had been part of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour and that he had been in Curb Your Enthusiasm and The West Wing.  But that was all.  But it was free!

However, before he came on stage, we were, erm ‘treated’ to ‘Kiss & Tell’.  A musical due who were a little Noel Coward-esque – a bloke on the piano and a posh bird singing about posh bird things (like the credit crunch meaning that she’d had to downgrade stuff). To be honest, it seemed rather a bizarre pairing with an Iranian comic.  It fit the venue, but not the audience who were mainly Middle Eastern by the looks (het, you can include my look in there too!).  they were very hit and miss.  A couple of good songs and a couple that really weren’t as funny as you wanted them to be.

So, it was quite a relief when the thumping dance music came on, and Maz Jobrani danced on in a typical Middle Eastern way – which immediately had the audience laughing.

I have to say, we laughed heartily for the next hour or so.  Maz has his own particular style of observational comedy, mainly based around the differences between the different Middle Eastern and Arab cultures and their relationships with the rest of the world.  He tackles quite sensitive world issues (eg the current Arab uprising) but in a rather endearing way in which noone seemed to take any offence at all (for example, after identifying a single Palestinian woman and a single Jewish man, he joked that perhaps they should start the peace process themselves, and quipped that the guy shouldn’t try and pinch the girl’s chair).

He got the whole audience involved – asking where various people were from, and every time he mentioned a different country a cheer would go up from somewhere within the audience.  It was extremely lively – until the moment where he asked “So, are there actually any white English people here?” which was obviously the wrong question because English people don’t naturally whoop and identify themselves.  My mate wouldn’t anyway.  And my Tunisian half was particularly making itself felt last night – in fact I was quite missing my (blood) dad.

I loved it – I’ll certainly look out for him in the future.  And I will be telling my dad to check him out aswell!


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