September 24, 2013
Muslims Are Just Like Everyone Else In America: Not Funny

The Muslims Are Coming!, out this week on video on demand, is a documentary in which Muslim comedians tour the American south and west to combat Islamophobia. Based on that description, I had a lot of ambivalence going in. On the one hand, I think people should not hate Muslims. On the other hand, I think they should hate stand-up comics.
Overall, the film justified my prejudices. The comics are not especially funny. Their stand-up routines never flirt with flights of absurdity or conceptual humor a la Steve Martin or Andy Kaufman—rather, the material all falls resolutely in the “anecdote, anecdote, wry observation about current events/ethnic stereotypes/everyday life, ain’t that funny” formula that seems designed to make TV sitcoms seem innovative and weighty. Co-director and co-star Negin Farsad’s routine about her Jewish boyfriend is typical, starting with jokes about being drunk, moving into jokes comparing Jewish-Muslim relationships to the Palestine-Israeli peace process, and throwing in a joke or two about the terror induced when the bar lights come on and you have to see what the guy you’ve been flirting with looks like. It’s like watching someone go up on stage and fill out a checklist.
Read more. [Image: The Muslims Are Coming!]

Muslims Are Just Like Everyone Else In America: Not Funny

The Muslims Are Coming!, out this week on video on demand, is a documentary in which Muslim comedians tour the American south and west to combat Islamophobia. Based on that description, I had a lot of ambivalence going in. On the one hand, I think people should not hate Muslims. On the other hand, I think they should hate stand-up comics.

Overall, the film justified my prejudices. The comics are not especially funny. Their stand-up routines never flirt with flights of absurdity or conceptual humor a la Steve Martin or Andy Kaufman—rather, the material all falls resolutely in the “anecdote, anecdote, wry observation about current events/ethnic stereotypes/everyday life, ain’t that funny” formula that seems designed to make TV sitcoms seem innovative and weighty. Co-director and co-star Negin Farsad’s routine about her Jewish boyfriend is typical, starting with jokes about being drunk, moving into jokes comparing Jewish-Muslim relationships to the Palestine-Israeli peace process, and throwing in a joke or two about the terror induced when the bar lights come on and you have to see what the guy you’ve been flirting with looks like. It’s like watching someone go up on stage and fill out a checklist.

Read more. [Image: The Muslims Are Coming!]

  1. haletent reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Okay, I like the idea of this, and I like that this documentary is on Netflix because the idea is good and the...
  2. mashallah-muslimah reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. uncoqueta reblogged this from theatlantic
  4. kingofreaks reblogged this from imaginasi0n
  5. imaginasi0n reblogged this from theatlantic
  6. folklore-films reblogged this from socialjusticekoolaid and added:
    I was lucky enough to watch them film this live at my University and I recommend everyone to go see it/rent it on...
  7. socialjusticekoolaid reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. mshkh reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. juanitothegreat reblogged this from theatlantic
  10. tbhsara reblogged this from livelaughloveforevernikole
  11. livelaughloveforevernikole reblogged this from theatlantic
  12. katesters reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. flynnsync reblogged this from theatlantic
  14. dat-eudaimonia reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. hundredfeetaway reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. thisisphudge reblogged this from theatlantic
  17. pod313 reblogged this from theatlantic
  18. exitstag3right reblogged this from theatlantic