Prince Abdi

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Prince Abdi
Born (1982-07-21) 21 July 1982 (age 35)
Medium Stand-up, Television, Web series
Nationality British
Years active 2006–present[1][2]
Genres Observational comedy, Sketch comedy
Subject(s) Somali culture, Society

Prince Abdi (born 21 July 1982) is a Somali-born[3] British[4] stand-up comedian and actor.

Early life[edit]

Abdi was born in Somalia and immigrated to the United Kingdom with his family in the 1980s[5][6] at the age of four.[7] He was thereafter brought up in Brixton, London[1] 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[8] knee injury.[7]

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,[9] and taught in Brixton and Kilburn/West Hampstead.[2] 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,[1] where he had worked on weekends for ten years,[2] and quit teaching to pursue a comedic career full-time.[1]

As of 2008, Abdi was reportedly the only Somali comedian working in Britain.[10]

He has since performed at some of the more established comedy clubs on the United Kingdom circuit,[11] including Hackney Empire, Edinburgh Festival (2007), Trafalgar Square (Eid in the Square),[12] 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, Rise Festival[13] and Jive Cape Town Funny Festival.[6]

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.[14]

Additionally, Abdi has done various tours with other Muslim comedians. In July 2008, he performed at the Islam Expo in Olympia, London.[10] In July 2011, he toured four UK cities[15] in the Peace Youth and Community Trust's (PYCT) first Muslim Comedy Tour, alongside Jeff Mirza, Humza Arshad and Nabil Abdul Rashid.[16][17]

In 2013, he performed a whole month at the Cape Town Comedy Festival. He then performed at the monthly Laughter Factory comedy tour, which started at Heroes in Abu Dhabi's Crowne Plaza before heading to Dubai and Doha.[7] In July 2015, he performed at Eid Special Comedy Night at The Comedy Store in London.[18][19][20]

In June 2015, Abdi made a short film My First Fast as part of the British Muslim Comedy series, five short films by Muslim comedians commissioned by BBC to released on BBC iPlayer. Abdi used flashbacks and period details to recall his childhood trials of his first fast at the age of seven.[21][22][23]

In January 2016, he performed at the fifth edition of the comedy show Arabs Are Not Funny in London.[24]

Abdi has also performed at Somali community events.[4] He continues to perform stand up comedy throughout Britain and internationally.[14] He is currently on tour around the London area whilst writing new and original comedy pieces on-the-go.[22]

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.[14] 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.[25] His other credits include BBC's The Wall, Channel 4's Channel 4 Presents, BBC's The Jason Lewis Experience. His acting credits include Part 10 of Diary of a Bad Man and Laughing Stock.[14]

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 became the second contestant to be voted off, as decided by judges Alan Davies, Kate Copstick and guest Bob Mortimer.[26][27][28]

Comedy style and reception[edit]

Abdi's comedy style has been described as original,[29] confident,[30] refreshing,[31] pacy, upbeat, and infectious. Reviews of his stand-up performances have also emphasised his connection with the audience.[10][11][32][33]

His comedy material draws from his roots in Somalia,[34] growing up in Brixton, observations, and general topics.[4][8][29]

Awards, nominations and recognition[edit]

In 2007, Abdi won the Your Comedy Star competition at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[1] He was also nominated "Best Newcomer" in the Black Entertainment Comedy Awards,[1] and came third in the Revels Chortle Student Comedy Awards.[11]

In 2011, Abdi came joint second in The Barbican Hackney Empire New Act of the Year competition.[9][35]

Personal life[edit]

Abdi is a Muslim[7] and has one child. He lives in Shoreditch, London.[1] He is an Arsenal Football Club fan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Prince Abdi: A British-Somali Stand-Up Comic". Somali Week Festival. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Darvill, Josh (26 July 2011). "INTERVIEW: Prince Abdi talks 'Show Me The Funny'". Telly Mix. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Somali-Brits After Mo". London: West London Today. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Lol Comedy Show Watford – Ola, Variety D & Prince Abdi". Lol Show. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Herimbi, Helen (5 June 2013). "Man with original pirate material". Somalia: Hiran Online. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d Hawkins, Si (5 November 2013). "Somali comedian Prince Abdi set to tickle the UAE". Abu Dhabi: The National. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ a b c "Attractions – IslamExpo – 11–14 July 2008 – Olympia, London". IslamExpo. Retrieved 3 March 2013.  Prince Abdi
  11. ^ a b c "Prince Abdi". Africa Meets Asia – UK Comedy Tour. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Africa Centre Comedy on Sundays: The best in African & Caribbean Comedy from the UK & beyond". The Africa Centre. Retrieved 1 January 2013.  Prince Abdi
  13. ^ "Comedians". The Top Secret Comedy Club. Retrieved 1 January 2013.  Prince Abdi
  14. ^ a b c d "Prince Abdi". comedy cv. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "British Muslim Comedy Tour in Your City, "Innit Bruv"". Muslimness. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Humza Arshad and Jeff Mirza head up charity comedy tour". London: Croydon Guardian. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  17. ^ Dakin, Melanie (14 July 2011). "Humza Arshad and Jeff Mirza head up charity comedy tour". Watford: Watford Observer. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  18. ^ Chakelian, Anoosh (10 March 2015). "HaLOL: can the UK have a laugh about Islam?". New Statesman. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  19. ^ Rahim, Sameer (21 July 2015). "HaLOL Comedy Night, Comedy Store, review: 'challenging'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "London Comedy Store to host its first ever Muslim Eid comedy show". Asian Voice. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  21. ^ Jones, Alice (25 June 2015). "Ramadan films and HaLOL: the rise of British Muslim Comedy". The Independent. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  22. ^ a b Badat, Hafeeza (19 June 2015). "British Muslim Comedy Takes Over BBC iPlayer". Asian Image. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  23. ^ "BBC iPlayer - British Muslim Comedy - Prince Abdi: My First Fast". BBC iPlayer. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  24. ^ "Arabs Are Not Funny". BBC iPlayer. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  25. ^ "Brixton Comedy Club". The 99 Club. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  26. ^ "Comic booted off Show Me The Funny". Chortle. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  27. ^ Fletcher, Ale (26 July 2011). "Prince Abdi voted off 'Show Me The Funny'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  28. ^ Fletcher, Ale (26 July 2011). "Prince Abdi eliminated from Show Me The Funny". Female First. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  29. ^ a b "Prince Abdi". Jongleurs. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  30. ^ "Prince Abdi". The Comedy Club. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  31. ^ "Hal Cruttenden, Prince Abdi, Dave Ward". Camden World. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  32. ^ "Prince Abdi". The Glee Club. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  33. ^ "Prince Abdi". The Comedy Store. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  34. ^ "Chortle – Prince Abdi". Chortle. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  35. ^ "Prince Abdi". Chilli Stars. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 

External links[edit]