15 Arab American Comedians That Will Crack You Up
By: Noah Robertson/Arab America Contributing Writer
There are so many stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims that sometimes you just have to make fun of them and use humor to combat them. These 15 Arab American comedians, some of whom are Muslim as well, have made big names for themselves in the U.S. and abroad. They all incorporate some of their heritage, religion, and personal experience into their comedy while finding a blend of material that can make anyone laugh.
While they are in order based off my personal opinion on who the funniest comedians are, YouTube videos of some of their shows are included so you can decide for yourself. Enjoy!
1. Aron Kader
Aron Kader is a Palestinian American who began his comedy career at age 19. Since then he has had many achievements. An especially important one is his founding of The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, which debuted on Comedy Central in 2007 and brought stand-up to the Middle East. Kader is well known in the comedy world, has been featured in the media many times, and is a regular on NPR.
2. Ramy Youssef
Ramy Youssef is an Egyptian American stand-up comedian, an actor, and a writer. Most recently, he is known for his role as Ramy Hassan on the hit Hulu comedy series (2019-present) Ramy, for which he received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 2020. Before his success with Ramy he appeared on The Late Show and HBO doing stand-up along with his various acting roles.
3. Mohammed (Mo) Amer
Mo Amer is a Muslim Palestinian American, though born in Kuwait, stand-up comedian who came to the U.S. as a refugee making him unique in being the first and only Arab American refugee comic to perform for U.S. and coalition troops overseas. He debuted his first Netflix comedy special The Vagabond in 2018, has made many big television appearances, is a regular on Ramy, and has toured a lot with Dave Chapelle.
4. Maysoon Zayid
Maysoon Zayid is a Muslim Palestinian American stand-up comedian and actress. She found that in her early acting her cerebral palsy and ethnicity limited her so she turned to stand-up. Zayid was the first person to ever perform stand-up in Palestine and Jordan and founded the New York Arab American Comedy Festival in 2003 with other comedians. She has also been in multiple other shows and has become very popular.
5. Ismael Loutfi
Ismael Loutfi is a Muslim Syrian American born in a conservative American Muslim family, which he incorporates into his stand-up. He struggled initially doing stand-up in Florida while performing for 2.5 years with “just rednecks and angry racists,” but he says “I think it’s why I’m good.” Since then he has gained a lot of popularity and is a full-time writer on Netflix’s award-winning show The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.
6. Sammy Obeid
Sammy Obeid is a Lebanese American stand-up comedian who turned down a job at Google to pursue his dream of being a comedian. He has toured all over the world, was the first American comedian to headline in Russia, and has performed stand-up on multiple popular shows. Obeid also set a record for performing comedy 1,001 consecutive nights, which is pretty cool.
7. Eman Morgan
Eman Morgan is an Egyptian American stand-up comedian who not only performs in English, but has performed in Arabic throughout the Arab world. He has been featured in multiple shows and performs all over the country. Morgan’s major appearances have been in the Showtime Special “Bridging the Gap,” the feature film “Just Like Us” on Netflix, and in Funny or Die sketches.
8. Mike Easmeil
Mike Easmeil is a Palestinian American stand-up comedian, but is also a restaurant owner and father of three. He performs all throughout the U.S. at both local and major venues like Carnegie Hall and has performed internationally as well.
9. Ahmed Ahmed
Ahmed Ahmed is an Egyptian American stand-up comedian, producer, actor and director. He got his first major acting gig on TBS’s hit show Sullivan and Son as the first non-stereotypical Arab American in a comedy sitcom. In 2011 he finished Just Like Us, an award winning documentary following Ahmed and other comedians through the Arab world. He continues to perform across the U.S. and internationally.
10. Dean Obeidallah
Dean Obeidallah is a Muslim Palestinian American who is a lawyer turned writer and stand-up comedian. He hosts the “The Dean Obeidallah Show” on Sirius XM, which makes him the first American Muslim to host a national radio show. Obeidallah has gained a lot of popularity, co-founded The New York Arab American Comedy Festival, co-directed/produced the comedy documentary The Muslims Are Coming, and has been featured often in the media.
11. Amer Zahr
Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American stand-up comedian, speaker, writer, and adjunct professor. He has toured all over the world, has a law degree, and writes and speaks on political and social issues. Along with these achievements he has been featured by multiple media outlets (domestically and internationally) and has published a book and a documentary.
12. Tamer Kattan
Tamer Kattan is an Egyptian American stand-up comedian has performed all over the world and won multiple awards while doing so. Kattan has also appeared in commercials, TV shows, and major festivals blending a wide variety of material to appeal to all audiences.
13. Suzie Afridi
Suzie Afridi is a Palestinian American stand-up comedian who first bounced around jobs, had kids, and then came out of her midlife crisis a comedian. She has her own blog as well as producing, performing, and curating comedy shows. Her life plays a lot into her comedy and she works hard to show people that not only men can be comedians.
14. Nemr Abou Nassar
Nemr Nassar is a Lebanese American stand-up comedian who is credited for establishing and pioneering much of the stand-up comedy scene in the Middle East. He has done multiple world tours and produced a hit comedy special, No Bombing in Beirut, which he followed with The Future is NOW!. Nemr also has had multiple TV appearances and has a weekly podcast “The Very Funny Podcast”.
15. Said Durrah
Said Durrah is a Muslim Jordanian-Palestinian American stand-up comedian, but he did not commit full time to his comedy career until 2009. Before he did comedy, he worked in corporate marketing, travel, and banking. He has performed all throughout the U.S. and produces as well as headlines many comedy shows.
Comment below who your favorite of the comedians is!
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