UAE comics take on the world
Any comedian would crave the title ‘funniest person in the world’, and stand-ups from this part of the world are in the mix for the crown after being shortlisted for the bi-annual Laugh Factory global competition. Well-known stand-up Salman Qureshi, who teaches comedy courses in Dubai, has been nominated as one of two comics representing Pakistan, while Abu Dhabi funnyman Ibrahim Hanif is also in the contest for the UAE. Each contestant had to submit a threeminute video and then it is up to the online community to vote by watching and sharing their favourites. Online voting is open until October 1, and the final 10 comedians left standing will battle it out for a $100,000 prize, at a special event in Finland. Salman, who has been performing standup since 2009, is already in the top 20 in terms of voting and he explains: “For me, it’s not the competitive part, it is being able to perform alongside comics from around the world. The Laugh Factory is one of the most legendary clubs in the States so the best performers get to perform there. There is real prestige and it would be an honour to experience that.” Salman has already spoken to Nitin Mirani, the UAE-based Indian comic who finished fourth in the 2014 edition of the event. “We talked about what kind of material translates and what doesn’t. About the crowd there too. I guess a lot of it was reassurance - if you have been making people laugh then there is a strong chance you will adapt and make people laugh anywhere.”
GAME FOR A LAUGH: The Laugh Factory has hosted comedy greats such as Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carey and Eddie Murphy. Could UAE comics Salman Qureshi or Ibrahim Hanif be next?