The struggles and successes of "the Persian Eddie Murphy.”
Iranian-American comedian, actor and first-time author Jobrani tells a fish-out-of-water story, all the while maintaining a self-deprecating tone—e.g., regarding immigrant parents: “I don’t think immigrant parents really understand the ratings system. They think that PG…means that a movie will give ‘parental guidance’ to your kid while you go shopping for gold jewelry, chandeliers, and marble counters at the mall." The author also recounts his desire to blend in and be seen as just another rich kid in Northern California, albeit one whose "loud and brown" father picked him up from soccer practice in a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. Cultural typecasting followed Jobrani throughout his fledgling Hollywood career, perhaps most shockingly when he caught his big break at the renowned Comedy Store in Los Angeles in 1999 and was asked to dress in “Middle Eastern garb,” like “the Persian equivalent of blackface.” The author hits his stride with his chronicle of the period after 9/11, when he went on the offensive with his comedy, sharing his political views and observations in his stand-up act and on cable TV specials. Jobrani embraced the role of comedy in healing after 9/11 and, later, with two other comics on the international Axis of Evil Comedy Tour. This mission and his tales from the road comprise the bulk of the book. Jobrani believes it is his duty to bring these issues to light in a humorous, accessible way—e.g., when he quips that he is not involved in jihad, explaining he "lost interest altogether once [jihadis] started putting bombs in their underwear.” He also offers this practical advice: “Don't Wear A Backpack At Home Depot.”
A funny and occasionally insightful memoir of an Iranian-American comedian finding a voice in showbiz.