// you're reading...

Humor

Zehra Fazal’s Shock-n-Schtick

Originally posted at Muslimah Media Watch.

When I clicked on a link forwarded to me, I was pleasantly surprised to see a woman wearing a headscarf with a guitar in hand, an almost rare sight given some socio-communal stigmas associated with music. I was even more intrigued by the subject of the video, “The Ramadan Song”–a take on Adam Sandler’s “The Hannukah Song,” with a Muslim angle, of course.

The song (from her one-woman show, entitled Headscarf and the Angry Bitch) itself starts off wonderfully, borrowing the melody from the Christmastime favorite “The Little Drummer Boy.” The song is witty, well done and Fazal has a great voice. She is also extremely funny and even more so personable, with an exuberant personality. The punch line is great in and of itself and definitely shocking, giving “swallowing” another meaning during Ramadan–I was a bit taken aback by her verbal sexual abrasiveness. Curious about the funny woman who had both entertained me and made me furrow my brow, I checked out her website for further information.

And I was pretty disappointed.

While video showcased in this post is quite funny, it’s part and parcel of really shticky comedy, particularly with the use of the hijab, which Fazal does not wear off the stage. Such shock-n-schtick is not exactly the highest form of comedy and one also previously embraced by British comic Shazia Mirza, also vying for a sort of legitimacy and shock low-scale comedy pubs.

Unfortunately, many women in comedy find the need to amplify female sexuality, sexual abrasiveness and/or shock (see: Sarah Silverman) in order to make it in an industry primarily led by men. Add ethnic/religious minority into the mix, and the career-in-comedy terrain is made far rougher. While Fazal is ostensibly a funny person, her over-clichéd adornment of oxymoronic  imagery (e.g., beer in hand, bacon strip in mouth, hijab on head) will only attract a limited audience, pulled in by the novelty and not by her humor. It will undercut what is indeed a creative mind.

Here’s hoping to success for Zehra Fazal – beyond schtick.

Did you like this? Share it:
Filed Under  , ,

Discussion

No comments yet.

Post a comment

Connect With Us Ya Hmeer!

resume resume

Recent Posts

So, Who’s the Threat to America Again?
August 20, 2012
By Guest
Where Do We Keep Islamophobia?
August 15, 2012
By Shubnum
Lobbying Versus Advocacy
August 1, 2012
By Mehrunisa
On the destruction of Speaker’s Corner
July 17, 2012
By Abubakr
Stateless & Speechless, A Palestinian Regains Speech
July 12, 2012
By Hanitizer
White, Black American groups ‘swap’ summer interns
July 10, 2012
By Guest
The Costs of Stripping
June 25, 2012
By Mehrunisa
Be The Fundamental Pizza of a Man
June 25, 2012
By Guest
In US, They Want Fun, Fun Fun
June 23, 2012
By Sana
I Ain’t Afraid of No Regime
June 15, 2012
By Husam
ADC: Arab American Professionals’ Gateway to DC
June 12, 2012
By Hanitizer
Influence And Freedom
May 23, 2012
By Guest
Will Sacha Baron Cohen Bring His Muslim Bashing To An End?
May 22, 2012
By Hanitizer
On Chafed Oddballs, Siberian Socialites and Missed Opportunities
May 5, 2012
By Guest
A Single Roll of the Dice
April 23, 2012
By Guest