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|Born||New Haven, Connecticut, United States|
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film, radio|
|Genres||Observational comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||American politics, Iranian culture, feminism, racism, current events, political satire|
Negin Farsad is an American comedian, actress, writer and filmmaker of Iranian descent based in New York City.
Early life and education
Farsad was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and she was raised in the Southern California resort community of Palm Springs. With aspirations for a career in politics, she attended Cornell University in upstate New York and majored in government, as well as theater arts. She moved to New York City to attend Columbia University for grad school, earning master's degrees in race relations, and one from the School of International and Public Affairs with an emphasis on urban management.
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.
Her comedy routines often feature her views on politics, sex and her experiences navigating the cultural dynamics of her Iranian-born family. In 2012 the Huffington Post named her on their "53 Of Our Favorite Female Comedians" 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.
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". 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.
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.
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.
The Muslims Are Coming! – Farsad directed the documentary with fellow comedian and filmmaker Dean Obeidallah. 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.
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. Other writing credits include Detox and the animated show 1001 Nights. 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.
Farsad released her first book in 2016 entitled How to Make White People Laugh.
- Farsad, Negin (2016). How to Make White People Laugh. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing. p. 29. ISBN 978-1455558223.
- "53 Of Our Favorite Female Comedians (PHOTOS)". HuffPost. 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
- Farsad, Negin, A highly scientific taxonomy of haters, retrieved 2017-03-12
- "18 Funny Women You Should Be Following On Twitter". Huffington Post. 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
- "Shows | Negin Farsad". neginfarsad.com. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
- Bale, Miriam (September 19, 2013). "Will Islamic Stand-Up Play in Peoria? 'The Muslims are Coming!,' a Docu-comedy". The New York Times.
- Farsad, Negin (2016-05-24). How to Make White People Laugh. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9781455558223.