Just a Little Innocent Comedy

In a new television special, these American performers are taking on Middle Eastern stereotypes

March 04, 2007|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

BEFORE THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPT.11, Dean Obeidallah, a Palestinian-American comedian, rarely mentioned his ethnicity onstage.

Now, it's almost all he talks about.

THE AXIS OF EVIL COMEDY SPECIAL / / Premieres at 10 p.m. Saturday on Comedy Central

ARON KADER

Age: 33

Ethnicity: Palestinian-American

Jokes about: Growing up (in Washington, D.C.) with a Palestinian-Muslim father and Mormon mother; a cousin named Jihad changing his name to Raymond; American products dominating the Middle East.

Website: aronkader.com

AHMED AHMED

Age: 36

Ethnicity: Egyptian-American

Jokes about: Hating to fly; Googling his name and finding another Ahmed Ahmed who's a terrorist in the Middle East; being typecast as a terrorist in Hollywood.

Web site: ahmed-ahmed.com

MAZ JOBRANI

Age: 35 Ethnicity: Iranian-American Jokes about: Middle Eastern stereotypes in TV news; non-Arab friends thinking he's an expert on the Middle East; Iranians trying to explain that they are not Arabs. Web site: mazjobrani.com

Dean Obeidallah

Age:

37

Home:

New York City

Ethnicity:

Palestinian-American

Education:

J.D., Fordham University

Former life:

Defense attorney

Other roles:

co-creator of New York Arab Comedy Festival and Comedy Central's Internet show The Watch List

Jokes about:

growing up in New Jersey with Palestinian father and Italian mother; religious profiling of Muslims at airports; the Patriot Act and how it lets the government track his library borrowing habits

Web site:

deanofcomedy.com

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