"Well, no, I’m sad, and I want to make you sad, too.”
February 20, 2020 10:28 AM   Subscribe

The Bleak Humor of Tehran’s One and Only Standup Comic (New York Review of Books): "His monologue grew only more morbid from there, delving into what he described as his loveless, meaningless existence and his hatred for the macho behavior he saw in the world all around him. Yet there was something wonderfully endearing about his exaggerated melancholy, which often veered into unrepeatably obscene riffs. It was all so clearly at his own expense, and delivered so brazenly, that it had the crowd laughing along with him. “You’re thinking I’m a typical comedian who is sad on the inside and wants to make you happy,” he said. “Well, no, I’m sad, and I want to make you sad, too.” And everyone laughed. ¶ I realized that I had been expecting certain clichés to be fulfilled: that this would be another example of the Middle Eastern comic using satire to fight back against political repression—an evergreen topic for a Western correspondent. Instead, this was an awkward, abrasive, deliberately transgressive set, at times closer to performance art than comedy…"
posted by not_the_water (3 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
This was a very good article.
posted by Uncle at 3:41 PM on February 20

jfc. SMBC has a comic that ali would like
posted by lalochezia at 6:18 PM on February 20

It's been a long time since an article about standup which by necessity could not refer to any well-known preexisting recorded specials or YouTube clips made me actually laugh while reading it. Does anyone know of any Iranian comics who have succeeded in touring elsewhere or emigrating who do have recordings floating around? Even ones that aren't recent would still be especially interesting in the current climate.
posted by C. K. Dexter Haven at 9:25 AM on February 22

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