Apr 28th, 2010 |
See, this is what happens if I spend so much time working and not enough time on blogging: No updates in almost 3 weeks now!W ell here to change that now, in the past month I’ve covered 2 comedy tours, a wedding in Saudi and a weeklong desi wedding in Pakistan (yes! updates coming soon!)
Starting you off, but not necessarily in the correct temporal (yes its a real word!) order, the Maz Jobrani: Brown & Friendly show in Riyadh!
Maz has been on tour all over the Middle East, with shows in Dubai, Bahrain, Lebanon and of the weekend of April 14th, Saudi Arabia! With shows in Jeddah and Riyadh, this has been the first major Smile Productions tour since the 2nd LOL Tour back in November.
Peter of Smile Productions gave me a call literally minutes after I’d walked into my house, returning from a 2-week long vacation/photoshoot in Pakistan. There was a comedy show in Riyadh in a day and he needed me in Riyadh. Weary from all the traveling, I almost said no. I’m glad I didn’t.
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I met up with Maz a few hours before the show at Reem International Circuit, which is 80km outside of Riyadh. This would be the fourth tour I'd be on with the man. Still funny in his calm demeanor he is...
Still a few hours to go to the comedy show (which would be taking place just next to the Reem Circuit), we decided to test drive one of the BMWs the were displaying there. It's supposedly a newer model that not too many people have seen yet. I'm clueless when it comes to cars, unless it comes to taking pictures of them. Note: This goes for my skills with women as well ;P
Something tells me being a comedian does not qualify you to be racing a car. Something also tells me being a comedian actually makes you a less safe person to be in a car going at 160km/h with.
Don't Kill me Maz... The ride was quite harrowing. Oh, and I found a new use for seatbelts: sticking them in your mouth so you don't scream so much...
Oooo pretty! Done with our horsing around, we took the long winding road into the desert to the venue. Riyadh weather was being very threatening tonight, with a sandstorm already blowing and rain imminent. It wasn't looking good for the show...
And then the worst happens. Against all odds, IT ACTUALLY RAINED IN SAUDI ARABIA. The audience were moved to the green rooms (err tents) to wait it out. This was all well and good, except they ate all our VIP food.. grrr...!
Hmm.. interesting. My spell checker doesn’t like the word ‘Saudi’ and insists I change it to ‘Squid’…
With no signs of letting up, Peter comes up with a solution to let the show go on. Setting up a sound system indoors and having the comedians perform there. This was one of those times I was glad I wasn't Peter ;P
And just as it came, it went, leaving behind a wonderful cool, if slightly windy, Riyadh night. Not yet mainstream and opposed by religious hardliners, the choice of venues tends to be quite limited in Saudi Arabia, leaving shows to he mercy of the elements.
The show was MCed by Imran Al Aradi, a Bahraini comedian. Half Pakistani, half Bahraini, he was desi enough for me! We're best fraaands now : D
First up was another Bahraini comedian: Ali Fingers. His last name really is fingers. Seriously. Ask him.
This was the first time Ali was performing in Saudi Arabia. He actually commented on how beautiful Saudi was compared to Bahrain... which I found a little odd given that he'd only seen the outskirts of Riyadh. But then again, I *have* been to some amazing places in Saudi : )
Next up: Khalid Khalifa. And uhhh.... interesting angle. I don't think I should be this close when he gets like this 0_0
But of course, the highlight of the show was Maz Jobrani himself. Bringing his crazy energy onto the stage, Maz is always a fun comedian to shoot!
Look familiar? It should! This photo was on the cover of Arab news Life&Style Magazine last week!
Arab News: Maz Jobrani: Telling it like it is … Shawarma style!
One thing that can be said about the crowd in Riyadh: They WANT to be entertained. The rain may have delayed everybody's plans by 2 hours, but everybody still stuck around till the end of the show. As Maz put it: Saudi Arabia is pretty much the best comedy audience in the world. Kudos Riyadh : )
Like a Rock Star: Maz Jobrani takes it home, bringing an end to an amazing night in Riyadh, filled with fun, intrigue and laughter... well maybe not so much intrigue ;P
In other news, the documentary I worked on last year has finally premiered in NYC this week. It’s been getting some great reviews. Also, I’ve made it onto IMDB
Check it out:
Ahem ahem, Abdullah Nidal Mohiuddin
I wonder if this means I can now sign autographs… hmm…
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