“Comedy is a necessity to get through life with the fewest scars. Humour is the best antidote to help relieve all struggles”, is rightly said by Suzy Kassem, a prolific American thinker, poet, writer, and philosopher.
Thanks to diverse population of the country, there is a taste and demand for a variety of comedy and comedians visiting from different parts of the world. And so people in Qatar frequently get chances to attend and enjoy comedy shows by comedians of international fame and standing.
Seriously funny comedy by an award-winning stand-up comedian is soon coming to Qatar. He is both well-known and notorious for his comic jibs and attacks. He does not shy away from controversies.
Omid Djalili, a British stand-up comedian, actor, television producer, voice actor and writer, is all set to amuse Doha audience at Marsa Malaz Kempinski The Pearl on April 8. The comedian’s show is being arranged in Qatar following the popular demand. The stand-up comedy show is organsied by Swiss Events Group, an event organising company in Qatar.
Though it is not going to be the first show by Omid, he is no doubt popular enough to be heard live by people who follow stand-up comedy. There are certain controversies around the man who has won many accolades for his political and social jokes.
Djalili was born in Chelsea, London, to Iranian Baháí parents. He attended Holland Park School and then the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, studying English and theatre studies.
The first significant success of his stand-up comedy career was at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1995 with Short, Fat Kebab Shop Owner’s Son, followed by The Arab and the Jew with Jewish comedian Ivor Dembina in 1996.
He has performed in numerous countries, including Qatar, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Canada and the United States. In US, he had his own HBO Special and did 22 episodes of the NBC sitcom Whoopi with Whoopi Goldberg.
He did his part for Comic Relief after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and also in 2005 he appeared on the British TV show Top Gear as a celebrity driver. The same year he broke Edinburgh Festival box office records with over 16,500 ticket sales.
In 2006, Sky Television picked him to be the face of their Saturday night film premières, and he also announced a new tour of the UK called No Agenda. In 2007, he was voted by the British public as the 60th best stand-up comedian in a Channel 4 programme The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups.
The same year, he guest-presented the BBC political quiz show Have I Got News for You. The Omid Djalili Show started on BBC1 on 17 November 2007. The series was a mix of sketches and stand-up material. A second series was recorded in late 2008 and began broadcast on BBC 1 on 20 April 2009. He performed on We Are Most Amused on ITV1 to mark Prince Charles’s 60th birthday in 2008.
As far as his acting career is concerned, Djalili has appeared in a number of films, most notably Gladiator, The Mummy, Mean Machine, The World Is Not Enough, Alien Autopsy, Spy Game, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Grow Your Own, Notting Hill, Mr Nice, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Sex and the City 2 and provides his voice in Over the Hedge.
In 2009, Djalili became the voice of Yusuf Amir in the popular gaming series Grand Theft Auto. He took up the role in the Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony spin-off game. In 2010, he starred in the David Baddiel-scripted film The Infidel.
For the years to come, he starred and was part of many movies and TV shows. In 2019 he appeared as Dr Lenselius in the BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.
Like other celebrities, his life is also not free of controversy. In 2019, Djalili was criticised for making disparaging remarks about the Welsh language on Twitter
Djalili has won awards for his comedy. These include the EMMA Award, Time Out Award, and LWT Comedy Award for Best Stand-up Comedian, Spirit of the Fringe Award as well as the One World Media Award for his Channel 4 documentary, Bloody Foreigners.
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