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Comedian Maz Jobrani Finds Inspiration And Fanbase Around The Globe


To devoted public radio listeners, the name Maz Jobrani might sound familiar.

The Iranian-American comedian is one of the revolving group of regular panelists on the NPR quiz show, Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! But while the reach of that show is impressive, by the time Jobrani made his first appearance, he had already performed stand-up comedy for audiences across the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

"Given the internet, and just how small the world has become, just from media, you can go to Saudi Arabia and do a joke about Lindsay Lohan, and they’ll be like, 'Oh, that Lindsay – always in the rehab,'" Jobrani says.

Jobrani now draws on everything from international politics to his children to growing older for his material, which will be on display later this month at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall BallroomLake Effect's Mitch Teich talks to him about his career and growing audience - including the fans he's reached in places like Kuwait and Jordan.

"It almost was like this audience had been looking for us because there'd been so much negativity about Middle Easterners and Muslims in the media, and it was this relief when they found us because they just were like, 'oh wow, these guys are talking about everything that we're going through,'" Jobrani says.

Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.