Negin Farsad

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Negin Farsad
Negin Farsad.png
Born New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Medium Stand-up, television, film
Nationality American
Years active 2006–present
Genres Observational comedy, satire
Subject(s) American politics, Iranian culture, feminism, Middle East, racism, current events, political humour,

Negin Farsad is an American comedian, actress, writer and filmmaker of Iranian descent based in New York City.

Early life[edit]

Farsad was born in New Haven, Connecticut, 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. It was at Cornell that she joined a sketch comedy group and quickly realized her passion for writing and performing. Upon graduating, she moved to New York City to attend Columbia University (obtaining two master's degrees; the first in race relations, the second from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs with an emphasis on urban management). She began working for New York City as a senior policy advisor. Working during the day, she would write and perform comedy in the evenings. 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 entertainment. She created her own production company, Vaguely Qualified Productions and committed herself full-time to her creative endeavors.


Farsad was named by The Huffington Post as one their "50 Funniest Women" in 2011, her comedic routines often feature her frank and sharp-witted views on politics, sex and her experiences navigating the cultural dynamics of her Iranian- born family. She was also selected as a TED Fellow and gave a TED Talk in 2013 for her work in social justice comedy. She has performed for national and international audiences and has opened for the likes of Al Franken, Bobby Lee and Colin Quinn, among many others. She has provided original comedy content for Pacifica Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. In 2012, she was once again 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 work has been called 'smart, funny, and fascinating' by the Wall Street Journal, a Critic's Choice by the Chicago Tribune, 'a shining exception,' by the Dallas Morning News and Backstage cheered that it "doesn't get much funnier than this!" Her first ever musical, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Romantic Comedy, premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival.

Farsad has been interviewed and featured on numerous print, television and radio programs throughout the world, including AOL, CNN, IFC, MSNBC, MTV, Comedy Central, Huffington Post, The Joy Behar Show, Rock Center with Brian Williams, Washington Post, Rolling Stone ME, Tell Me Everything with John Fugelsang on Sirius XM and many more. In 2008, Queen Rania of Jordan commissioned a video from Farsad as part of a web series to combat Middle Eastern stereotypes – this series later won the first ever "YouTube Visionary Award." Also in 2008, her short film Hot Bread Kitchen was the recipient of the Lifetime Women Filmmaker award. She has been a grant recipient from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and was also honored with a Columbia University Fellowship.


The Muslims Are Coming – Farsad directed the documentary, The Muslims are Coming! with fellow comedian/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. Featuring interviews with a diverse cast of everyday citizens, religious leaders and celebrities, such as The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, comedians David Cross, Janeane Garafalo, Colin Quinn, and national news personalities' Rachel Maddow, Soledad O'Brian and Al Velshi among others.

Nerdcore Rising – Farsad's first feature length directorial effort,Nerdcore Rising 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, Texas to sold-out screenings and critical praise; "hilarious and delightful", Best of Fest pick, "laugh riot from the first scene", Boston Herald, "charming and insightful…touching, funny, and awkward", Portland Mercury, "honest and heartfelt.", Wired Magazine.

Nerdcore Rising has been an official selection of multiple festivals around the country and internationally, earning Best Film, Best Director, and Audience Favorite awards along the way. It combines interviews about Nerdcore and its origins with footage of MC Frontalot's 2006 Nerdcore Rising national tour.

A Cricket in the Court of Akbar – Farsad served as a producer and story editor for A Cricket in the Court of Akbar, a documentary film about musician Andrew Mendelson, shot entirely on location in Rajasthan, India.

Hot Bread Kitchen – Farsad wrote and directed this 2008 documentary short that premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival. She was awarded the Lifetime Women Filmmaker award.

Iran-ing on Empty – A short film written, directed and starring Farsad, it was a selection of comedy festivals around the country.

Meeting David Wilson – A documentary which Farsad served as a consultant and story editor.


She produced, directed and performed in the Comedy Central series, The Watch List, the first show in the history of television to feature Middle-Eastern American comics tackling international political issues. Other notable writing credits include MTV's web and television show Detox and the PBS animated show 1001 Nights. She has also served as on-air correspondent for IFCs coverage of the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival, made multiple guest appearances on HLNs Joy Behar Show, and was a regular contributor to the Current television program, The Young Turks.

References and external links[edit]