Event: Arabs Gone Wild
Arabs Gone Wild
It is true. The “Arabs Gone Wild” comedy tour of Dean Obeidallah, Maysoon Zayid, and Aron Kader came back to New York City for a 1 night only show. I felt the need to publish my own review of the show and I can promise you I will show no bias because I am arab. Then again, I was one of the comedians in the show so expect me to paint the bad as good and the good as great.
Honestly… I don’t have to paint anything. The entire thing was amazing from start to finish. Let me give you a brief idea on what I mean by great. I arrived in Times Square at around 1 in the afternoon with some friends of mine. You may even know one of my friends, none other than Ali “Bulldog” Abdullah who was Moe from the Arab Mtv Cribs Spoof Video on Youtube. We began to do what guys our size do and that was search for food. As we walked around times square we couldn’t help but keep bumping in to random people asking us if we enjoyed comedy. As you know, comedy clubs promote on the streets day and night in an effort to fill their clubs. Every 5 steps I believe, all we heard was “Hey Fellas, do you like comedy? Our star tonight had half a million hits on youtube… he is performing in New York’s biggest comedy club!”. That 11:45 show sounded amazing I must admit. My friends the responded saying “This is Ali, I think he has had a million hits on Youtube and that is Said Durrah… he performing tonight on Broadway.” The promoters were taken back and began to ask us questions.
Fast forward to about quarter of 5 and put a bunch of talkers like us in Times Square and just imagine how many people were told about the show. We had everyone from the 2 guys at the Lids Store, the Spanish guy dressed as cookie monster, all the police officers, Minnie Mouse, everyone in line to get Juniors Cheesecake, and the list goes on and on and on. Promoting? Sure… but mostly proud to see the look on their face when they found out an Arab Comedy Show was happening on Broadway. Not a club called Broadway… not an off the beaten path gift show… an actual major theater on Broadway that you could flip a coin from and probably hit the huge poster for “The Lion King” or “Wicked”. I became like a proud mother when they asked me questions about it. I said things like “Yup, he was just on CNN like last week”, “Yeah, comedy central album”, “Yup the guy from the videos… comedy central album now too”, “Yeah… the Zohan Movie… that was her”, and the praise kept going on an on.
Suddenly all of these people were yelling back “Hey Good Luck Tonight” and for once the drunk guy looking for change wanted me to break a leg for an actual GOOD REASON! We walked around that area as if granted 1 Broadway wish from a genie and it was to feel in a way that we as a people made it for a night on Broadway. Thanks Genie, and sorry about the pizza… I totally thought you had already eaten a slice.
It was 5pm and I met Dean Obeidallah outside and we walked through the back door entrance. Calm yet there was a special buzz and energy in our step as we made our way through the building. I even walked a flight of stairs and didn’t even notice it because of the adrenalin. Those who know me know I notice stairs so imagine that. Dressing rooms, herbal teas, food, sound engineers, stage managers, lighting guys, and the most exciting… my name on pieces of paper taped to a few walls so the guys working the behind the scenes knew when I would be going on. Electric cannot even describe the mood. I remember walking into the dressing room and seeing the classic mirror surrounded by the small globe light bulbs and thinking to myself, “Really? Broadway. Wow”.
Slowly but surely the calm back stage began to turn into Santa’s Workshop as plenty of people with smiles on their faces got down to business and were doing their part to make this 1 night go as smoothly as possible for all the fans. I remember the Security forcing people back and then waving me past them. I remember having to go outside to assist a friend and as I turned the corner to the box office where tons of people had gathered to pick up their tickets they call kind of looked up and smiled and whispered and pointed that I was indeed in the show. I walked into the box office to get my friends ticket that had been lost and the lady at the window immediately become much nicer than she had been with my friend. Go Figure. I told my friend that sometimes when your face is on the posters in the building you can kind of get things done a bit quicker I guess.
Again, this was Arabs Gone Wild… not Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, or Wizard of Oz. A sharp eye view from the front door was a big poster of Al Pacino to promote his show in the same area. Even Al was technically “Off” Broadway. We were on it. A bunch of Arab folk there to make people laugh.
I remember when Maysoon Zayid remarked on how special it is and how in under a year I was on Broadway and how great that is. We all gathered up before the show similar to a football team before the Superbowl and praised each other and promised to give everyone a good show. We threw our hands in the air and that was that. It was time to punch your time card, clock in, and make people laugh.
We did just that.
I remember walking out on to the stage after I was announced and just looking at everyone in the crowd and I got flashbacks to my first show ever in Washington DC in front of a similar size crowd. I remember last time walking on to the stage thinking to myself “Go fast. Wow. Lots of People. Hurry. Run. Go.” but this time was different. Just as my brain was about to click into the “Young Comedian” mode… I manually pushed it back to the part of the brain that creates all of my ideas, jokes, and confidence. 3 seconds after taking the stage my impromptu criticism of the DJ prompted a huge audience reaction of laughter.
This was Broadway.
This was Arabs Gone Wild.
This was Dean Obeidallah, Aron Kader, Maysoon Zayid. This was also Joe Derosa, Mohamed Mohamed, Baha Khalil, Remy, Aasif Mandvi, and myself… Said Durrah.
This was history. We had just completed a night of Arabs on Broadway and it went great. Outside people would flock to the comedians just to show support and scream out their favorite joke for the night. Pictures, business cards, and details were given out. I spent much of the time telling people where I would be next but also where they could find info on the other comedians too.
We were like a family. I was honored to participate in such an amazing show. I was totally blown away by the amount of people who showed up and waited outside just to be able to give a handshake or a hug and look you in the eyes and say “Great Job”.
So my review is simple. Arabs went wild at Arabs Gone Wild and history was made in the process. This tour does amazing things and I have told many people something and I want them to take this to heart…
Nobody outside of my culture or religion knew how to say the name Muhammad until a small town boxed named Ali put a belt over his shoulder after 1 simple night of heavy hitting. If only the people who were at that fight knew that night what was about to happen.
We are not Muhammad Ali and we do not get to wear a belt if we win but as individuals we did a lot of heavy hitting to get to where we were and it is because of this I believe we need no belts. When dean asked the crowd if they were Arab about 2/3 said they were. He then asked who was non Arab and again about 1/3 cheered loudly…
Again, we may not be boxers but it sounds like we are scoring a lot of points on the judges scorecard. That is what this tour does!
Check out my own personal page www.Saidsworld.com or find me on facebook. Search for Said Durrah and the Group for SaidsWorld.
Also do yourself a favor and see this tour when it comes to your town.
Log on to www.ArabsGoneWild.comFiled Under Arabic, Arabic culture, comedy, comics, guest posts, humor, media, politics, pop culture