Laughter Therapy with Aron Kader

Like a teenage groupie, I anticipated the latest comedy show of Aron Kader in Dubai.

The first time I saw Aron Kader was during the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour about four years ago, also in Dubai. That troupe included the likes of Ahmed Ahmed and his hilariously inappropriate jokes, as well as Moz Jabroni, from Iran: “I am Persian. Meow.”

But the one who stood out to me was Aron Kader. Of course, I related to his family background (American Mom, Palestinian Dad). But really, it was his impersonations that pulled me in. He is the master of accents: Arab immigrant, American redneck, Australian, and more.

When I first saw him on stage, Aron came out telling jokes in heavily accented English. As he went on speaking like a Jordanian tour guide, I was thinking, Wait, isn’t he supposed to be American? Finally, he switched to his regular American accent. Wow. He fooled me.

I appreciated his take on George Bush. Oh, how we needed a laugh during the Bush Years. Most vividly I remember his interpretation of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin in Palestine—examining the Palestinian people in their natural habitat: “They are very territorial.”

So, Aron Kader was back in Dubai where he’s been offering a Comedy Workshop via Dubomedy and performing along with other comedians. The show on April 1st marked the fourth anniversary of Dubomedy, a comedy and urban arts school in Dubai.

The unofficial theme of the night was cultural differences. To be honest, I love making fun of different cultures and nationalities (particularly Arabs). So, I was in the right place last night at the Centerpoint Theater at the Mall of the Emirates.

The host for the evening was Mina Liccione, an Italian-American comedienne from New York, based in Dubai. I saw her perform once before at an all-women comedy show on The Palm Island. Now she’s newly married to fellow comedian Ali Al Sayed (both co-directors of Dubomedy). And as a member of a large Arab family, Mina has a wealth of new material, including Arab mother-in-law jokes: “We get along great. She doesn’t speak English!”

The show also briefly featured two emerging comedians, Omar and Ray. Next up was Emirati Ali Al Sayed, who affectionately mocked other nationalities, with a special emphasis on Indians, Lebanese and Jordanians. His line about Jordanians: “The nicest rude people in the world.”

And finally the headliner, Aron Kader. I was excited to see his new material.

He made fun of people who brag (more jokes about Lebanese). He explained why Arab houses are never haunted. (Arabs would invite the ghost to stay on as a houseguest.) Aron didn’t miss a chance to impersonate George Bush (his signature shtick), as well as Barak Obama (naturally not as funny—what to do?)

For me, the funniest part was Aron recounting his visit to his Palestinian relatives in Palestine. He illustrated the “thin line between hospitality and being held hostage.”

Oh, how I can relate.

Aron Kader is a comedian based in Hollywood, CA at the Comedy Store. He was the first person to formally teach comedy in the Middle East. He was one of the co-founders of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.

Question: Have you seen Aron Kader perform? Or any of the other Dubomedy or Axis of Evil comedians?

  1. April 2nd, 2012 at 20:32 | #1

    My husband (Who is Iranian) and I went to see Maz Jobrani with his family. Everyone was laughing so hard! He did a free style bit at the beginning by picking out the different nationalities in the crowd. It was my favorite part :) I’ll have to check our Aron Kader. Laughter is such an important thing!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      April 2nd, 2012 at 22:42 | #2

      Hi Molly, yes, Maz Jobrani is hilarious. And so high energy! As for Aron Kader … there are some youTube links in the post. (Check out the first & third links…) Nothing like a good extended laugh–sorta like aerobics and anti-stress therapy combined!

  2. Amanda
    April 3rd, 2012 at 00:37 | #3

    I met Aron Kader in person! He came to our masjid to perform and my hubby and I took him back to the airport and we got to talk to him on the way. =) Did you know that he doesn’t speak Arabic?? I was so surprised, I thought he would given his dad, but I guess his dad was a falahi/farmer and apparently it’s not the ideal arabic to learn because it’s different from the regular dialect I guess. That’s how my hubby and him explained it.

    I looove axis of evil comedy tour, at one point I had most of it memorized, lol!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      April 9th, 2012 at 01:34 | #4

      Hi Amanda, Wow. You have comedy shows at your masjid?! Very cool. … Regarding the Arabic, Aron explained in his show that there are only a handful of Arabic words that one needs to know: Allah, yallah, wallah, sm’allah, etc. … ;-) I love the axis of evil show, too. I have the DVD!

  3. April 8th, 2012 at 19:20 | #5

    Axis of Evil Dean Obeidallah is coming to my university on Friday, put on by the Muslim Students Association. Quite excited to see him, from the reviews this comedy tour has received. Enjoyed your post!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      April 9th, 2012 at 01:40 | #6

      Colleen, Have not seen Dean perform, but I follow him on Twitter. He’s very funny. Recently he asked on twitter for rhyming jingles for a pretend presidential campaign for himself. I suggested: Vote Dean, the kind of president you’ve never seen -and- Vote Dean, he’s only occasionally mean. If he uses one of those lines in his show, know that it’s from me. :-) Tell me how the show goes!

  4. Amanda
    April 9th, 2012 at 07:41 | #7

    I have the DVD too, AND it’s autographed hehe =P my hubby went to their show and got it autographed. Yeah our masjid is also like a community center, we have a couple banquet halls, a playground for the kids, basketball court for the youth, game room, islamic book/clothing store, etc. Of course mens and womens prayer rooms too, babysitting rooms, and an Islamic school from k-8th grade attached to the side. We’re always having events every weekend and invite people to speak. So Aron Kader was one event. It’s pretty awesome! @Holly S. Warah

  5. Holly S. Warah
    Holly S. Warah
    April 9th, 2012 at 09:58 | #8

    @Amanda It sounds like a wonderful masjid. Meanwhile, I wish Axis of Evil would do another tour…. apparently that’s not happening anytime soon.

  6. April 11th, 2012 at 22:07 | #9

    loved the axis of evil show. Aron was great!! I’m so sad I missed him as I didn’t know he was coming. They didn’t advertise as much this year!!!

  7. Linda A
    April 12th, 2012 at 01:22 | #10

    I have the Axis of Evil DVD and they are soooooo funny. I love Aron Kader’s humor and Maz Jobrani just cracks me up when he picks on different nationalities in the audience.

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      April 13th, 2012 at 16:43 | #11

      Linda, We can’t get enough laughs in our life, can we? BTW, Moz Jabrani is peforming tonight in Dubai, and I’m going to miss him. Waaa! :-(

  8. zvezdanarashkovichZvezdana
    April 13th, 2012 at 22:42 | #12

    I loveee Maz. He is my favorite. I watched him live last time he was in Dubai. But I am biased since my best friend is “Persian” Meow:) Too bad i will have to miss his show this time

  9. April 14th, 2012 at 12:05 | #13

    Holly, Dean was great, with just the right touch of politics and a smidgen of racial and religious humor, without being overly gross or offensive. Unfortunately, the opening act, Eman Morgan, an Arab-American from L.A., was a tad too daring for Omaha, Nebraska – the two Black ladies sitting in front of me left in outrage at some of his off-color Black humor. Overall, the event was a treat, so glad I could see it.

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      April 14th, 2012 at 12:49 | #14

      Colleen,
      Thank you so much for following up. Glad to hear Dean was funny. I think he’s smart, too, which makes him extra-funny. That’s unfortunate about the others being offended and leaving. Comedy walks a fine line between funny & edgy and going too far. Once I saw a British comedian who said something mean-spirited about Americans. Years later, I’m still annoyed over it! Thanks again for the report.

  10. Nancy Kader
    May 20th, 2012 at 22:58 | #15

    Just so you know, it is my fault that Aron doesn’t speak Arabic….I studied it but still can’t pronounce the “ayn” or “gh” sound properly. However, Aron’s Palestinian Grandma lived with us for awhile and we all learned a little from her. Aron’s Dad is fluent, but yes, it is a fellahi sort of everyday Arabic. However Aron has a knack for impersonation beginning at an early age with the neighbor’s dog and his kindergarten teacher. Thanks for the good things said here about him, he’s the best and funniest son!
    From Aron’s mother in Virginia.

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      May 21st, 2012 at 22:53 | #16

      Hello Nancy, what a please to get a comment from Umm Aron! Aron has so many fans all over, as I’m sure you know. He must be an amazing son…. BTW, my Palestinian husband & his family speak a fellahi dialect, too, so I know what you mean. Makes language learning extra hard, but as mothers, we mustn’t blame ourselves! Thanks again for the comment. You made my day!

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