Posts Tagged ‘Mina Liccione’

Laughter Therapy with Aron Kader

April 2nd, 2012 16 comments

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?