Thursday, May 08, 2008

Previewing America at a Crossroads

“Today almost half of Americans hold a negative view of Islam. One in four hold “extreme” anti Muslim views.” I guess things like that happen when a group of Islamic men use airplanes as missiles if it is warranted or not. But as I have found in life, when you are quick to make fun of yourself, oddly enough the quicker people are to accept you. And that is what five comedians are doing as highlighted in the upcoming PBS series America at a Crossroads with their newest installment Stand Up: Muslim American Comics Come of Age premiering this Sunday, May 11 at 10:00 (you may want to still check your local listing just in case).

Judging how African Americans comedians such as Richard Pryor in the seventies, Eddie Murphy in the eighties, Chris Rock in the nineties, and Dave Chappelle this decade have been able to help thaw the race relations since the era of Jim Crowe by poking fun of their race and how everyone reacts to the color of their skin, these new Muslim comics just may be able to help ease the animosity that still lingers from the 9/11 attacks as seen in one review that had a caption reading, “trying not to suicide bomb” on stage.

The comics profiled are pretty diverse unto themselves, with only their religion sometimes binding them, with the five being descended from Iran, Palestine, India, Egypt, and one that is half Palestinian and half Italian. It is interesting see how each balances humor with their religion considering how none of them would be about to do their routine as is in their native country.

Here is a preview of America at a Crossroads:

My personal favorite of the five was Ahmed Ahmed:

Then a funny skit about Arabs being the new Black:

What up Mustafa? I am totally using that in the future. You can find a bunch more clips from America at a Crossroads on its YouTube page. And here is a little more information on America at a Crossroads for those that tend not to watch public television (personally I need my weekly Bob Ross fix):

Stand Up: Muslim American Comics Come of Age is part of the acclaimed series America at a Crossroads, created by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to present an in-depth, provocative series of films exploring the challenges confronting the world post-9/11. CPB developed the initial concept for America at a Crossroads in 2004, with an open call for film projects. More than 400 proposals were submitted from public television stations and independent documentary filmmakers around the world. In 2006, CPB named WETA the producing station to oversee all films throughout production. Stand Up: Muslim American Comics Come of Age is part of a series of specials following the premiere week in April 2007. The series has a major interactive Web presence at Funding for the series was provided by CPB.

1 comment:

  1. I'd heard about this series, from last year, I believe...It was excellent.

    I've also heard of Ahmed Ahmed, from Vince Vaughn's Wild West show...he's a very talented comic, and I hope to see him in more projects.

    Glad I saw this post...I'll be checking out the show tonight, for sure!!