Prince Abdi

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Prince Abdi
Born (1982-07-21) 21 July 1982 (age 32)
Medium Stand-up, television, Web series
Nationality British[2]
Years active 2006–present[3][4]
Genres Observational comedy,
Sketch comedy
Subject(s) Somali culture, Society
Influences Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock[4]

Prince Abdi (born 21 July 1982) is a Somali-born British stand-up comedian and actor.

Early life[edit]

Abdi was born in Somalia and emigrated to the United Kingdom with his family in the 1980s.[5] He was thereafter brought up in Brixton, London[3] where he attended Walworth Secondary School.

Abdi had football trials with Millwall F.C. and Dulwich Hamlet F.C. However, he abandoned the sport at the age of 15 after incurring a severe injury.[6]

In 2007, Abdi graduated from Thames Valley University, University of West London with a BA (Hons) in Media.

Stand-up career[edit]

Abdi was originally a primary school teacher,[7] and taught in Brixton and Kilburn/West Hampstead.[4] 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,[3] where he had worked on weekends for ten years,[4] and quit teaching to pursue a comedic career full-time.[3]

As of 2008, Abdi was reportedly the only Somali comedian working in Britain.[8]

He has since performed at some of the more established comedy clubs on the United Kingdom circuit,[9] including Hackney Empire, Edinburgh Festival (2007), Trafalgar Square (Eid in the Square),[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

Additionally, Abdi has done various tours with other Muslim comedians. In July 2008, he performed at the Islam Expo in Olympia, London.[8] In July 2011, he toured four UK cities[13] in the Peace Youth and Community Trust's (PYCT) first Muslim Comedy Tour, alongside Jeff Mirza, Humza Arshad and Nabil Abdul Rashid.[14][15]

Abdi has also taken the stage for Somali community events.[2] He continues to perform stand up comedy throughout Britain and internationally.[12]

Television career[edit]

Abdi has written and starred in his own television sketch for the BBC, Comedy Central and ITV, as well as comedy and drama features.[12] 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.[16] 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.[12]

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.[17][18][19]

Comedy style and reception[edit]

Abdi's comedy style has been described as original,[20] confident,[21] refreshing,[22] pacy, upbeat, and infectious. Reviews of his stand-up performances have also emphasised his connection with the audience.[8][9][23][24]

His comedy material draws from his roots in Somalia,[25] growing up in Brixton, observations, and general topics.[2][6][20]

Awards, nominations and recognition[edit]

In 2007, Abdi won the Your Comedy Star competition at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[3] He was also nominated "Best Newcomer" in the Black Entertainment Comedy Awards,[3] and came third in the Revels Chortle Student Comedy Awards.[9]

In 2011, Abdi came joint second in The Barbican Hackney Empire New Act of the Year competition.[7][26]

Personal life[edit]

Abdi lives in Shoreditch, London. He has one child.[3] He is an Arsenal Football Club fan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Darvill, Josh (26 July 2011). "INTERVIEW: Prince Abdi talks 'Show Me The Funny'". Telly Mix. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Somali-Brits After Mo". London: West London Today. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Drewett, Melissa (2 December 2011). "Prince Abdi brings laughter to Shoreditch this Christmas". London: East London Lines. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Prince Abdi: A British-Somali Stand-Up Comic". Somali Week Festival. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Lol Comedy Show Watford – Ola, Variety D & Prince Abdi". Lol Show. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Nikki, Jarvis (11 October 2012). "Comedian Prince Abdi kicks off hilarious new event in Erith – WIN tickets to the show". News Hopper. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Show Me The Funny: ITV launch search for a stand-up superstar". Taylor Herring. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013.  Prince Abdi
  8. ^ a b c "Attractions – IslamExpo – 11–14 July 2008 – Olympia, London". IslamExpo. Retrieved 3 March 2013.  Prince Abdi
  9. ^ a b c "Prince Abdi". Africa Meets Asia – UK Comedy Tour. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Africa Centre Comedy on Sundays: The best in African & Caribbean Comedy from the UK & beyond". The Africa Centre. Retrieved 1 January 2013.  Prince Abdi
  11. ^ "Comedians". The Top Secret Comedy Club. Retrieved 1 January 2013.  Prince Abdi
  12. ^ a b c d "Prince Abdi". comedy cv. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "British Muslim Comedy Tour in Your City, "Innit Bruv"". Muslimness. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Humza Arshad and Jeff Mirza head up charity comedy tour". Croydon Guardian. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Dakin, Melanie (14 July 2011). "Humza Arshad and Jeff Mirza head up charity comedy tour". Watford Observer. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Brixton Comedy Club". The 99 Club. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Comic booted off Show Me The Funny". Chortle. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  18. ^ Fletcher, Ale (26 July 2011). "Prince Abdi voted off 'Show Me The Funny'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  19. ^ Fletcher, Ale (26 July 2011). "Prince Abdi eliminated from Show Me The Funny". Female First. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Prince Abdi". Jongleurs. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "Prince Abdi". The Comedy Club. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "Hal Cruttenden, Prince Abdi, Dave Ward". Camden World. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Prince Abdi". The Glee Club. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "Prince Abdi". The Comedy Store. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  25. ^ "Chortle – Prince Abdi". Chortle. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  26. ^ "Prince Abdi". Chilli Stars. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 

External links[edit]