Omid gosh

One of Bri­tain’s best-loved comics re­turns

What's On (Dubai) - - CULTURE -

Multi-award-win­ning jack-of-all-trades Omid Djalili has been crack­ing jokes in front of au­di­ences for over two decades. He’s gone from per­form­ing at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val Fringe to tour­ing the world with his uniquely silly act. He’s hit the big screen with film cred­its in­clud­ing Glad­i­a­tor with Rus­sell Crowe, and most re­cently starred in a hit mu­si­cal. Still, the stand-up stage re­mains Djalili nat­u­ral habi­tat, and his lat­est show, Schmuck For A Night, sees him re­turn­ing to Dubai once again.

Stand-up co­me­dian, ac­tor, pre­sent­ing, etc – where do you feel most at home?

I loved do­ing Fid­dler On The Roof this sum­mer in the UK, and I loved do­ing my 110-date tour. But I have to say I have al­ways felt most at home when I’m in bed or in an all-you-can-eat buf­fet. When I find a way to com­bine th­ese, I’m never leav­ing the house.

Does it feel good to be com­ing back to com­edy after play­ing Tevye in

Fid­dler On The Roof? Yes it does. We worked hard to make Fid­dler On The Roof au­then­tic and funny and touch­ing and all those things you want a great mu­si­cal to be. But it’s a re­lief go­ing back to stand up.

What in­flu­ences your shows now?

I’ve been watch­ing my­self a lot re­cently whilst edit­ing my last show, Iranala­mad­ing­dong, which I hope to re­lease as a down­load. So I have to say my big­gest in­flu­ence is me watch­ing my­self – as I make mis­take after mis­take. Hope­fully you can learn from your mis­takes.

Does your show change much from gig to gig?

The show is al­ways chang­ing wher­ever I am, so I’ll be writ­ing up un­til the last minute. That’s in­evitable do­ing com­edy in to­day’s so­ciopo­lit­i­cal cli­mate.

You once said “funny first, pol­i­tics sec­ond”. How much does pol­i­tics fea­ture in your act?

It’s there but I’m not ham­mer­ing peo­ple over the head with it. Put it this way, I’ll touch on stuff, but not enough to get me rolling on stage with a lectern to present an award at the Em­mys.

Do you think the cur­rent state of pol­i­tics is be­yond par­ody?

Se­ri­ously, some things you could not make up. When Spicer was Trump’s press sec­re­tary and he ended up speak­ing up for Adolf Hitler, it was al­most as if a sketch writer from Satur­day Night Live had writ­ten it.

You’ve had an ex­ten­sive ca­reer thus far. What’s the high­light?

I was on the BBC One pro­gramme in Lon­don pro­mot­ing my Eng­land World Cup song in 2014. They thought it would be funny if I took a penalty against a ro­botic goal­keeper who had a 100 per cent record of sav­ing penal­ties. Even Lionel Messi and Cris­tiano Ron­aldo hadn’t man­aged to score. Amaz­ingly, I scored and the clip went viral. Robo­keeper was sub­se­quently de­com­mis­sioned, which was a bit of an in­sult as they must have thought: “If a fat bloke can score against it there’s got to be some­thing very wrong. Scrap it!”

What would you like to do next?

Well, this an­swer is a no-brainer: I’m go­ing to get Emi­rati cit­i­zen­ship and be in the na­tional foot­ball team of the UAE. Yalla! Case closed!

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