Palestinian-American Comic Mo Amer to Bring LEGALLY HOMELESS to D.C., 5/3
Some of the world's funniest Muslims will share the stage when comedian Mo Amer performs "Legally Homeless" at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, May 3. The stand-up comedy show, presented by Live Nation Comedy, will be recorded for later broadcast on national television.
"We are excited to be working with Mohammed 'Mo' Amer," said Geof Wills, president of Live Nation Comedy. "He may be the funniest 'Mohammed' in the world."
At a time of heightened tension and news coverage focused on violent religious extremists, Amer believes it is more important than ever to use humor to combat negative stereotypes often associated with Muslims.
"I find that just by being myself and sharing my culture on stage, it helps to counter the negativity," he said. "I talk about things that are relevant, but in the end, it's all about being funny because this is a stand-up comedy event. This is not just a show for Muslims. I want to attract a diverse audience."
"Legally Homeless" is the first ever one-hour stand-up special starring an Arab-American comedian. The show's title is derived from the fact that Amer has traveled to more than 20 countries without a passport, and straddled multiple cultures while growing up in the U.S.
Amer was born to Palestinian parents in Kuwait, but was raised in Texas after his family fled to the U.S. as political refugees in 1990, during the first Gulf War.
"The first time I saw a comedian was when my older brother took me to a rodeo as a kid, and Bill Cosby performed," Amer said. "That's when I knew I wanted to make people laugh."
Considered by many to be the foremost Arab-American comedian, Amer has been featured by major news media including the BBC, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Variety and more. Recently, he has been touring with comedian Dave Chappelle.
Amer has entertained civilian audiences and American troops around the world, at one point spending several nights in Saddam Hussein's former palace after Coalition forces converted it into a makeshift hotel. Performing for troops has changed his perspective on U.S. soldiers, giving him more insight into their lives and diverse attitudes while broadening his understanding of power politics and global conflict.
"Legally Homeless" is co-produced by Kalijaga Media LLC, a production company owned by Amer and his producing partner, Chicago-based comedian Azhar Usman, who will also perform.
"The issues that we talk about are not necessarily funny, but the stories that come out of them are," Usman said. "Comedy is an art of protest. For Muslim and Arab communities in the U.S., stand-up can be a form of cultural diplomacy and constructive engagement."
"Legally Homeless" will also include appearances by Bassem Youssef, who has been referred to as the "Egyptian Jon Stewart" and was arrested by Egyptian authorities in 2013 for criticizing the government. Other guest performers will include Hasan Minhaj from Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," Ramy Youssef from "See Dad Run" on Nick at Nite, and indie rapper Brother Ali from Rhymesayers Entertainment.
"Legally Homeless" will be performed on Sunday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m., at the Warner Theatre, 513 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20004. Regular tickets are $25 and V.I.P. tickets are $75. For tickets and information, visit www.LegallyHomeless.com.