|Pseudonym||Mo Amer, Mohammed Najjar|
July 24, 1981 |
|Medium||Stand-up, Television, Film|
|Genres||Observational comedy, Satire|
|Subject(s)||Islamic humour, Islamophobia, Political humour, Family, Marriage|
Mohammed "Mo" Amer (Arabic: محمد عامر; born July 24, 1981) is a Kuwaiti-born American stand-up comedian and writer of Palestinian descent. He is best known as one third of comedy trio Allah Made Me Funny.
Amer is of Palestinian decent, and the youngest of six children. In October 1990, at the age of nine, Amer, his sister, Haifa, his brother, Amer, and mother fled his birth country of Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War. They emigrated to the United States and settled in Houston, Texas.
Two years later his father, a telecoms engineer, joined them in the United States. He attended private school at Piney Point Elementary while his older brothers studied overseas. His brother Omer is a pilot, another brother Amer (who later changed the family name to Najjar), has a PhD in biochemistry. In 1995, when Amer was 14 years old his father died.
At the age of 14, Amer participated in and had leading roles in high school theatre, and started performing stand-up comedy by impersonating family members and developed it over a few years in the comedy club scene.
In June 1999, Amer entered Houston's Funniest Person Contest and made the finals. There another comedian directed him to The Comedy Showcase as the best guided comedy room. The owner of The Comedy Showcase, Danny Martinez, mentored and taught him about stand-up. At the age of 19, he was being flown out to play to US troops stationed abroad. becoming the first and only Arab-American refugee comic to perform for US and coalition troops overseas.
Amer has performed tours in over 27 countries on five continents including Germany, Italy, Sicily, Japan, Korea and Bahrain, as well as with other Muslim comedians Preacher Moss and Azhar Usman in the Allah Made Me Funny comedy tour since 2006.
In July 2008, he performed at the Islam Expo in Olympia, London. In October 2008, he performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event in the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London organised by Islam Channel.
As well as with Allah Made Me Funny, he has performed at sold-out shows worldwide, including: Royal Albert Hall and Hammersmith Apollo (London), Acer Arena (Sydney), Nelson Mandela Theatre (Johannesburg), Shrine Auditorium (Los Angeles), as well as the Malmo Arts Festival (Sweden), the Amman Stand-up Comedy Festival (Jordan), and the World's Funniest Island Festival (Australia).
Amer's solo comedy show Legally Homeless: Trials of a Refugee is in development for a feature length documentary-comedy. He is also co-writing a feature screenplay with award-winning filmmaker Iman Zawahry, and longtime stand-up collaborator Azhar Usman.
Amer's work promotes art and understanding between the diverse cultures of the world, and his ethnic and family background situates him to speak about the problems of religion, terror, and the politics of our age—through the lens of personal stories about his family and himself. He talks about his Palestinian background, family histories and growing up American.
In 2009, Amer became a U.S. citizen which enabled him to travel to Amman, Jordan and visit family he had not seen for almost 20 years. He also returned to Kuwait and Baghdad for the first time since his family fled.
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