21 July 1982 |
|Medium||Stand-up, television, Web series|
|Subject(s)||Somali culture, Society|
|Influences||Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock|
Prince Abdi (born 21 July 1982) is a Somali-born British stand-up comedian and actor.
Abdi was originally a primary school teacher, and taught in Brixton and Kilburn/West Hampstead. In his spare time, he performed free comedy shows for a lengthy period to establish himself on the stand-up circuit. He eventually gave up his part-time job at B&Q, where he had worked on weekends for ten years, and quit teaching to pursue a comedic career full-time.
As of 2008, Abdi was reportedly the only Somali comedian working in Britain.
He has since performed at some of the more established comedy clubs on the United Kingdom circuit, including Hackney Empire, Edinburgh Festival (2007), Trafalgar Square (Eid in the Square), Jongleurs (Various), The Comedy Store, Banana Cabaret, Belfast Empire (Northern Ireland), Up-The-Creek, Headliners, The Broadway Theatre, Hounslow Theatre, The Glee Club (Birmingham), Alexander Palace and Rise Festival.
Besides the UK, Abdi has also done stand-up shows in Canada, the United States, Holland, Northern Ireland, Kenya and Turkey. He has performed alongside other comedians, including Jack Whitehall, Dave Chappelle, Stephen K. Amos and Reginald D. Hunter.
Additionally, Abdi has done various tours with other Muslim comedians. In July 2008, he performed at the Islam Expo in Olympia, London. In July 2011, he toured four UK cities in the Peace Youth and Community Trust's (PYCT) first Muslim Comedy Tour, alongside Jeff Mirza, Humza Arshad and Nabil Abdul Rashid.
Abdi has written and starred in his own television sketch for the BBC, Comedy Central and ITV, as well as comedy and drama features. He has performed on Comedy Central's The World Stands Up, BBC Three's Laughter Shock and ITV's FHM Stand Up Hero and ITV's Show Me The Funny. His other credits include BBC's The Wall, Channel 4's Channel 4 Presents, BBC's The Jason Lewis Experience. His acting credits include Diary of a Bad Man, Part 10 and Laughing Stock.
In July 2011, Abdi appeared on the ITV reality programme Show Me The Funny. After he was in the bottom two comedians for the second week running, he become the second contestant to be voted off, as decided by judges Alan Davies, Kate Copstick and guest Bob Mortimer.
Comedy style and reception
Abdi's comedy style has been described as original, confident, refreshing, pacy, upbeat, and infectious. Reviews of his stand-up performances have also emphasised his connection with the audience.
Awards, nominations and recognition
In 2007, Abdi won the Your Comedy Star competition at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He was also nominated "Best Newcomer" in the Black Entertainment Comedy Awards, and came third in the Revels Chortle Student Comedy Awards.
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