Negin Farsad

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Negin Farsad
Born (1978-03-24) March 24, 1978 (age 45)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film, radio
Years active2000s-present
GenresObservational comedy, satire
Subject(s)American politics, Iranian culture, feminism, racism, current events, political satire
SpouseJason Tottenham
Notable works and rolesThe Muslims Are Coming!

Negin Farsad (Persian: نگین فرساد; born March 24, 1978)[1][2] is an Iranian-American comedian, actress, writer, and filmmaker based in New York City.

Early life and education[edit]

Farsad was born in 1978 in New Haven, Connecticut, to an Iranian American Muslim family, and she was raised in the Southern California resort community of Palm Springs.[1][3][4][5] With aspirations for a career in politics, she attended Cornell University and majored in government, as well as theater arts.[6] She moved to New York City to attend Columbia University for grad school,[6] earning a master's degree in race relations from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a master's degree with an emphasis on urban management from the School of International and Public Affairs.[7]

She began working for New York City as a policy advisor to the New York City Campaign Finance Board. After more than a year in her role as a policy advisor, Farsad decided to leave her job with the city and pursue a career in comedy. She created her own production company, Vaguely Qualified Productions and committed herself full-time to her creative endeavors.[citation needed][8]


Her comedy routines often feature her views on politics, sex and her experiences navigating the cultural dynamics of her Iranian-born family.[citation needed] In 2012 the Huffington Post named her on their "53 Of Our Favorite Female Comedians"[9] article. She was also selected as a TED Fellow and gave a TED Talk in 2016 and 2017 for her work in social justice comedy.[10]

Farsad has performed for national and international audiences. In 2012, she was recognized by The Huffington Post as one of "18 Funny Women You Should Be Following on Twitter".[11] Her solo show Bootleg Islam, which she wrote and performed, appeared in the DC, Dallas, and Chicago Comedy Festivals among others. Her first ever musical, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Romantic Comedy, premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival. Farsad is a frequent guest panelist on National Public Radio's news game show, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."


Nerdcore Rising – Farsad's first feature length directorial effort is a documentary/concert film directed and produced by Farsad starring Damian Hess, a.k.a. MC Frontalot, and various other nerdcore hip hop artists such as mc chris, Optimus Rhyme and MC Lars with contributors such as "Weird Al" Yankovic, Prince Paul and Brian Posehn. The film premiered at the 2008 South by Southwest film festival in Austin.[12]

3rd Street Blackout – Farsad co-directed and starred in this romantic comedy.[when?] It follows a technology-obsessed couple that is forced to cope without their devices during a blackout post-Hurricane Sandy. It also stars Ed Weeks, Phyllis Somerville, Jordan Carlos, Janeane Garofalo, John Hodgman, and Sasheer Zamata. It premiered at the LA Film Festival in 2015.[citation needed]

The Muslims Are Coming! – Farsad directed the documentary with fellow comedian and filmmaker Dean Obeidallah.[13] The film, which follows a group of comedians touring through the South and Midwest U.S., focuses on Islamophobia through the lens of comedy. The film features interviews with everyday citizens, religious leaders and celebrities, such as comedians David Cross, Jon Stewart, Janeane Garafalo, Colin Quinn, Lewis Black, and national news personalities Rachel Maddow and Soledad O'Brien.[citation needed]


Farsad produced, directed and performed in the Comedy Central series, The Watch List, the first show to feature Middle-Eastern American comics tackling international political issues.[citation needed] Other writing credits include Detox and the animated show 1001 Nights.[citation needed] She has also served as on-air correspondent for IFC's coverage of South by Southwest Film Festival, made multiple guest appearances on the Joy Behar Show, 'AMJoy' on MSNBC, and was a regular contributor to the Current TV program, The Young Turks.[citation needed] She is the voice of Meredith the Mindtaker in Birdgirl.


Farsad hosts the political comedy podcast Fake the Nation,[14] and is a frequent guest or panelist on other podcasts such as Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me![15] and Pod Save America.[16]


Farsad released her first book in 2016 entitled How to Make White People Laugh.[17]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Jason Tottenham.[18]


  1. ^ a b Darko, Barbara (2020-04-14). Broadly Speaking: Quotes & Quips from Women in Comedy. Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-1-61689-928-8. 1978
  2. ^ @NeginFarsad (24 March 2022). "All right, it is my birthday. A text book Aries with a weakness for mini pastries. 🧁🫖" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Negin Farsad, Writer & Comedian". PBS NewsHour. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2021-01-17. Growing up in Palm Springs, Iranian-American Muslim comedian Negin Farsad
  4. ^ "Muslim comedian Negin Farsad to perform Saturday at Hancher in Iowa City". The Gazette. Retrieved 2021-01-17. who was born in New Haven, Conn., and raised in Southern California
  5. ^ Choisy, Gemma de (2016-11-07). "Negin Farsad Is Just Like All of You". Guernica. Retrieved 2021-01-17. Born in New Haven to Iranian parents and raised in Palm Springs
  6. ^ a b Farsad, Negin. "Negin Farsad, Speaker". TED. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  7. ^ Carlin, Shannon. "Muslim Comedian Negin Farsad On How To Make White People Laugh". Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  8. ^ Farsad, Negin (August 10, 2015). "Document 32 Declaration of Negin Farsad" (PDF). Muslim Advocates.
  9. ^ "53 Of Our Favorite Female Comedians (PHOTOS)". HuffPost. 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  10. ^ Farsad, Negin (10 June 2016), A highly scientific taxonomy of haters, retrieved 2017-03-12
  11. ^ "18 Funny Women You Should Be Following On Twitter". Huffington Post. 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  12. ^ SXSW 08: Nerdcore Rising Review - IGN, 11 March 2008, retrieved 2020-01-18
  13. ^ Bale, Miriam (September 19, 2013). "Will Islamic Stand-Up Play in Peoria? 'The Muslims are Coming!,' a Docu-comedy". The New York Times.
  14. ^ "Fake the Nation". Headgum. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  15. ^ "Negin Farsad". Wait Wait Stats Page. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  16. ^ "Insurrection Season Finale Life from Seattle". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  17. ^ Farsad, Negin (2016-05-24). How to Make White People Laugh. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9781455558223.
  18. ^ "Comedian Negin Farsad brings her newly minted hour to Chicago". 6 April 2022.

External links[edit]