Allah Made Me Funny

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Allah Made Me Funny
Allah Made Me Funny logo.jpg
Birth name Bryant Moss (2004–present)
Azhar Usman (2004–present)
Azeem Muhammad
(2004–2006)
Mohammed Amer
(2006–present)
Medium Stand-up, Television, Film
Nationality United States
Years active 2004–present
Genres Observational comedy, Satire
Subject(s) Islamic humour, Islamophobia,
War on Terror, Political humour, Ethnic stereotype
Notable works and roles Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour (2005)
Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert (2008)
Allah Made Me Funny - Official Muslim Comedy Show - Live HMV Apollo (2009)
Website www.allahmademefunny.com

Allah Made Me Funny are an American stand-up comedy troupe consisting of Bryant "Preacher" Moss, Azhar Usman, and Azeem Muhammad, who was later replaced by Mohammed "Mo" Amer. They are the longest artistic collective of Muslim comic performers in the world.

History[edit]

2003–2007 (formation and early underground work)[edit]

In December 2003, Preacher Moss founded the act[1][2] and made the debut at a club in Washington.[3] In 2004, Azhar Usman joined.[4] In May 2004,[5] Moss, Usman and Azeem Muhammad launched a comedy tour titled ‘Allah Made Me Funny.’[6][7][8]

Allah Made Me Funny started out in purely Islamic gatherings, such as the annual Islamic Society of North America conference.[9] During its first year, they toured 30 U.S. cities, and also in Canada, Europe, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.[10][11][12] They have also performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event in the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London organised by Islam Channel.[13]

In June 2005,[14][15][16] Allah Made Me Funny: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour DVD was released, which features Muhammad, Usman and Moss performing live stand-up at The Improv in Brea, California.[12][17]

In November 2006, they toured Australia.[18][19] In April 2007, they performed in UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Cardiff and Glasgow.[20] In November that year, they performed in UK cities including London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and Bradford.[21]

2008–present (mainstream success and critical acclaim)[edit]

In October 2008, Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert film was released at 15 screens[22] in U.S. cinemas.[9][23][24][25][26][27][28] The documentary/concert film, which was created from the longest-running comedy tour in America,[29] follows Amer, Moss and Usman as they perform at comedy clubs around the country,[2] and mostly features a performance before an audience at the Heritage Forum in Anaheim, California in August 2007.[7][30][31][32] The film pauses between acts to chronicle how they make comedy from their personal experiences as Muslims in post 9/11 America, behind-the-scenes footage into the comedians' day-to-day family lives, the work that goes into their show and how they prepare new material.[2][24][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40]

In April 2009, Allah Made Me Funny toured the UK,[41] where they performed in cities including London[42] and Manchester.[3] In October 2010, they took part in a one-off concert with Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain (Fear of a Brown Planet) at the Athenaeum Theatre in Paris.[43][44]

In September, October and November 2011, they toured the U.S. and UK with their "Word Domination Comedy Tour",[29][45][46] where they performed in cities including Washington D.C, Manchester, London, Birmingham and Glasgow.[3]

Allah Made Me Funny have been featured in over 100 major world media including CBS Sunday Morning, CNN Headline News, and a whole episode of ABC Nightline. In June 2013, Amer and Usman featured on an interfaith special, What’s So Funny About Religion?, which was broadcast on the CBS Television Network.[47][48]

Allah Made Me Funny have toured in over 30 countries[1] in four different continents.[35] They have been featured reviews and interviews from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time and U.S. television, plus international coverage on the BBC and in The Guardian.[49]

Comedy style and reception[edit]

Allah Made Me Funny shows have offered non-Muslims a chance to get to know about Islamic culture and have provided a place where Muslims can gather to share humor about their own lives and experiences.[10][11] Their goal it is to break down racial and cultural stereotypes and foster understanding across cultures, while educating both Muslims and non-Muslims about tolerance and acceptance through comedy and break down barriers no matter what peoples' beliefs or backgrounds are.[21][29]

Whilst on the tour the comedians ensure that their jokes are respectful and do not include sexual references, profanity or backbiting. To ensure that Muslims will be comfortable attending their show, the comedians request that comedy clubs do not serve alcohol or pork, or allow smoking during performances.[10][11][23]

Their routines mostly includes stereotypes, misunderstanding and fearmongering over the Muslim faith in the world today.[33] They talk about being Muslim in America, portraying the challenges and pitfalls, while simultaneously poking fun at Muslims in a light-hearted manner.[9]

The comedians' most popular jokes are about common Muslim stereotypes, with each comedian adding their own ethnic twist.[2] Their routine includes jokes about themselves, their communities, 9/11,[24] customs, religious holidays,[36] family, marriage, popular culture, the government, and the complications of being Muslim in post 9/11 America.[37]

Reviews[edit]

  • "This is where mainstream America meets Islam, not with conflict but with laughter." – BBC News[45][46]
  • "Allah Made Me Funny is funny...refreshing, respectful, and irreverent look at religion." – The Independent[45][46]
  • "...achieves it declared purpose." – The Guardian[45][46]
  • "The title doesn't lie." – The New York Times[50]
  • "The response from the audience is overwhelming." – BBC News[50]
  • "Three Muslims walk into a theatre. Everyone laughs with them." – Sydney Morning Herald[50]
  • "Allah Made Me Funny has been a huge success by challenging stereotypes and giving people permission to relax and laugh." – The Age[50]

Awards[edit]

In October 2005, Allah Made Me Funny were honored at the annual media awards dinner of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council.[51]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Allah Made Me Funny back by popular demand". Manchester: Manchester Evening News. September 19, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Martin, Michel (October 6, 2008). "Poking Fun At Stereotypes In 'Allah Made Me Funny'". Tell Me More (NPR). Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "What's on: Allah Made Me Funny, Manchester, November 10". Lancashire: Lancashire Telegraph. September 16, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Ali, Wajahat (October 25, 2007). ""Allah made me funny" comedy tour: "We’re trying to bring an expression about us, to us, from us"". Altmuslim. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ Jalil, Jannat (June 15, 2004). "Muslim comedians laugh at racism". BBC News. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ Lall, Rashmee Roshan (December 1, 2007). "Meet Azhar Usman, the 'bin Laughing' from Bihar". The Times of India. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Donadoni, Serena (2008). "Comedy With a Mission". Dispatches (The Cinema Girl). Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ Kincheloe, Joe L.; Steinberg, Shirley R.; Stonebanks, Christopher Darius (2010). Teaching Against Islamophobia. Peter Lang Publishing Inc. p. 163. ISBN 978-1433103360. 
  9. ^ a b c Hassaballa, Hesham A. (October 5, 2008). ""Allah Made Me Funny Is"...Really Funny". Illume. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c "Allah Made Me Funny Tour". Bass/Schuler Entertainment. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c "About Allah Made Me Funny". Allah Made Me Funny. 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Yusuf, Irfan (November 22, 2006). "Allah Made Me Funny". Newmatilda.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Performers". Global Peace and Unity Event 2008. 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Allah Made Me Funny- The Official Muslim Comedy Tour (DVD)". Simplyislam.com. June 2005. Retrieved November 1, 2013.  The Funniest Muslim Comedy Show - Now Out on DVD
  15. ^ "News". Meem Music. June 15, 2006. Retrieved November 1, 2013.  The Funniest Muslim Comedy Show - Now Out on DVD
  16. ^ "Allah Made Me Funny, Azhar Usman, Azeem, Preacher Moss". Islamic Good Direct. June 2005. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  17. ^ Bilici, Mucahit (2012). Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion. University of Chicago Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0226049571. 
  18. ^ Welch, Dylan (November 17, 2006). "Allah Made Me Funny". Sydney: The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  19. ^ Aedy, Richard (November 22, 2006). "Allah Made Me Funny". ABC Online. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Allah Made Me Funny - First ever UK Muslim Comedy Tour". Ethnic Now. March 16, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "Allah Made Me Funny UK Tour 2007". Redhotcurry.com. November 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  22. ^ Amanullah, Shahed (October 3, 2008). "Comedian Azhar Usman: Allah made him funny". Patheos. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Pais, Arthur J (October 3, 2008). "Allah Made Me Funny: Next cult hit?". Manchester: Rediff.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c AlHajal, Khalil (October 11, 2008). ""Allah Made Me Funny" brings the laughs". The Arab American News. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  25. ^ "‘Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert’". Muslim Entertainment. October 4, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  26. ^ Judell, Brandon (October 4, 2008). "Getting Jocular with Muslims". Culture Catch. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ Kai-Hwa Wang, Frances (November 10, 2009). "Ann Arbor hosts showing of comedy documentary 'Allah Made Me Funny'". Michigan: The Ann Arbor News. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  28. ^ Hoberman, J. (September 30, 2008). "Allah Made Me Funny: “Bomb Me if You’ve Heard This One Before….”". Seattle: Seattle News. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b c Coleman, Michael (September 1, 2011). "Allah Made Me Funny at Riot Act Comedy". On Tap. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ Meyer, John P. (October 3, 2008). "Movie review: Allah Made Me Funny". Dallas–Fort Worth: Pegasus News. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (September 19, 2008). "Allah Made Me Funny". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  32. ^ Curtis, Edward E. (2010). Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History. Facts on File. p. 534-535. ISBN 978-0816075751. 
  33. ^ a b Fry, Ted (October 3, 2008). ""Allah Made Me Funny": Stand-ups riff on being Muslim in America". Seattle: The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  34. ^ ""Allah Made Me Funny"". IslamiCity.com. October 3, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  35. ^ a b Kern, Laura (November 3, 2008). "Allah Made Me Funny (2008)". New York: New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  36. ^ a b Curiel, Jonathan (October 3, 2008). "'Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert'". San Francisco: SFGate. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  37. ^ a b Brussat, Frederic; Brussat, Mary Ann. "Film Review: Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert". Spiritual Practice. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  38. ^ Peary, Gerald (October 1, 2008). "Allah Made Me Funny". Boston: The Phoenix. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  39. ^ Hoberman, J. "Allah Made Me Funny". Oakland: East Bay Express. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Allah Made Me Funny". San Francisco: SF Weekly. October 3, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  41. ^ Fox, Kieran (April 17, 2009). "Muslim comedy trio take on UK". BBC News. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  42. ^ Kettle, James (April 11, 2009). "Brown humour". Melbourne: The Guardian. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  43. ^ Ziffer, Daniel (October 14, 2010). "Brown humour". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  44. ^ a b c d "What's on: Allah Made Me Funny, Manchester, November 10". The Well Foundation. September 6, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  45. ^ a b c d Halima, Maz (October 20, 2011). "What's on: Allah Made Me Funny, Manchester, November 10". Flavour Magazine. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  46. ^ "CBS Airs What’s So Funny About Religion?". Muslim Entertainment. July 1, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  47. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 10, 2013). "‘What’s So Funny About Religion?’ to Air Sunday, June 30 on CBS". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Comedy of terrors". Melbourne: The Age. July 1, 2006. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  49. ^ a b c d "Allah Made Me Funny - one off early show!". Comedy Store. October 16, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Allah Made Me Funny". Florida: The Ledger. October 29, 2005. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]