Axis of Evil Comedy Tour

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The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour is a comedy tour featuring four Middle Eastern comedians and special guest comedians. The tour's name is derived from a speech by US President George W. Bush which designated Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as the "Axis of Evil".[1] The tour started on 11 November 2005.[2][3] The group jokes about their culture along with being Middle-Eastern in America.[2][3] All of the comedians state that their lives changed considerably with 9/11, with one member, Egyptian-American Ahmed Ahmed, whose name matches the alias used by an Osama bin Laden henchman, noting that he is frequently stopped on suspicion of terrorism — including a 12-hour stint in a jail in Las Vegas.[3] On 10 March 2007 they were given their own Comedy Central Special.[3] The group broke up in 2011.

The group's current events sense of humor has attracted media attention. They have been interviewed by CNN, NPR, The New York Times and Time among others. They toured in several Mid-East countries with Showtime Arabia. King Abdullah II of Jordan has attended their show in Jordan and has conveyed his appreciation of their work.

Main members[edit]

National origin Name Nationality group
 Egypt Ahmed Ahmed Egyptian American
 Iran Maz Jobrani Iranian American
 Palestine Aron Kader Palestinian American
 Palestine Dean Obeidallah Palestinian American

Guest members[edit]

National origin Name Nationality group
 Korea Won Ho Chung Korean Jordanian[1]
 Cuba Carlos Leon Cuban American[2]
 Lebanon Nick Youssef Lebanese American[3]
 Syria Helen Maalik Syrian American[4]

Media reports[edit]

  • In March 2007, Time Magazine featured an interview report praising the group's activity as "warfare by humorous means".[4]
  • In June 2007, CNN reported that the group's video on YouTube has recorded over 200,000 views and that it enjoyed a special slot on Comedy Central in March of the same year.[5]
  • In February 2008, Syrian Forward Magazine praised the group's effort with an article entitled "Stand-up Diplomacy" and reported that three major Arab networks have vied for broadcast rights of their performance at the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival.[6]


  1. ^ Fuller, Jaime (25 January 2014). "The 4th best State of the Union address: “Axis of evil”". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Dougherty, Jill (1 July 2007). "'Axis of Evil' inspires laughs". CNN. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Lee, Felicia R. (10 March 2007). "Comedians as Activists, Challenging Prejudice". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Poniewozik, James (2007-03-08). "Culture Complex: Stand-Up Diplomacy". Time Magazine U.S. Retrieved 2012-05-22. "Stand-up is warfare by humorous means." 
  5. ^ Dougherty, Jill (2007-06-30). "'Axis of Evil' inspires laughs". CNN. Retrieved 2012-05-22. "The comics' videos on YouTube have been viewed more than 200,000 times, they recently had a one-hour special on Comedy Central and they currently are on a 15-city tour with packed crowds." 
  6. ^ Salama, Vivian (2008-02-01). "Stand-up Diplomacy!". Forward Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-22. "The tour was such a hit, in fact, that three major Arab networks have been vying for the rights to air excerpts from the festival." 

External links[edit]