We Matte Sitok,
"The Sweet Low Down"
Tuesday & Wednesday
"The Voice of Sinatra"
Friday & Saturday
TUESBAYS Veal Marsala
Sliced Beef Siciliana
Manicotti or Carmeloni
In Detroit & Troy
*All meals above include full dinners. No coupons or discounts
with price rollback on Tuesdays.
Egyptian-born, American-raised comedian Ahmed Ahmed, left, frequently performs
with rabbi/comedian Bob Alper, right.
seems to be a great response from non-
Arabs and a greater response from
Arabs," he says. "It's like people want to
hear the Arab-American point of view.
Sort of like when Richard Pryor came
on the scene. He made it OK to laugh
at the African-American culture."
So, is America really ready now to
laugh at what was once considered the
"I believe the only cure for trauma is
humor," says Ahmed, "and the tragedy
of 9-11 happened two years ago. It's
like the good old saying, 'Tragedy +
Time = Comedy.'
"Many comedians reference terrorists
in their acts because it's current and real
and that's where comedy comes from,
in addition to playing on stereotypes,"
"My latest joke is about creating a
reality show called Mideast Eye for the
five Arabs break into a
white guy's house in the Midwest and
teach him [to] hate women and make
bombs. ... I forgot. They already know
how to do that."
Arabs are the last culture to be hated,
says Ahmed. "After us, there aren't any
bad guys left."
Need statistics to back that up?
Ahmed will give you statistics.
"Right after 9-11, hate crimes against
Arabs and Muslims went up over 1,000
percent, he says, "which still put us in
fourth place behind blacks, gays and
Jews. We can't even win in hatred!"
Mideast humor? Rabbi Robert A.
Alper, a professional stand-up comedi-
an who often tours with Ahmed, isn't
about to go there.
"Humor about the Mideast is out of
bounds primarily because even if it's
kind of funny and even benign, in a
comedy event I don't want to direct
folks to the source of pain," he
"For the same reason, I don't do
material about cancer."
When things were much calmer,
Alper always did a joke about his strug-
gle with Hebrew when he first lived in
Jerusalem. It went something like this:
"Speaking with my landlord, I meant
to say, Anachnu mikableem ...,"' mean-
ing, 'We are receiving [bills for the pre-
"He just said, Mah?" -What?'
"I realized that by mistake I was say-
ing, Anachnu michableem,' which
means, 'We are terrorists.'"
For the past three years, says Alper,
"I've put that joke away. Using the
word 'terrorist' in the context of Israel
is just too evocative and painful."
Not that Alper can't get a laugh out
of current day concerns.
"Occasionally," he concedes, "I do
material about how we react to the ten-
sions around us."
As in, "You can always tell when Jews
on airplanes are nervous. Their hearts
beat faster, their palms perspire — and
they completely lose their ability to
Oh, by the way, adds Djalili — not
that he's complaining — he hopes the
press treats Whoopi kindly.
"If I can speak personally to the press
— my life genuinely could be in dan-
ger, because there are many Iranian
mafia people that say, 'He's got bad
notices in the LA. Times. Kill him!'
"That genuinely could happen," he
smiles that devilish smile formed when
the tongue is placed ever so cleverly in
"So, let's be nice."
And if not? Djalili considers the
"I'm here to announce to everyone
that we have five minutes to evacuate
the building." ❑
Whoopi airs 8-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays
Complimentary Shuttle Service
to all Fisher Theatre
Mama Mia performances
Now dough November 15th'
RESTAURANT OF DETROIT AND TROY
1477 John R at Maple • Troy
4222 Second St. • Detroit
BENNY ANDERSSON & BJORN ULVAEUS'
THE SMASH HIT MUSICALVAM.,A8BN
NOW TIIRU NOVEMBER 15 ONLY!
Call ticketmaster (248) 645-6666 or visit www.ticketmaster.com .
Tickets at the Fisher Theatre Box Office & all ticketmaster outlets. Groups (20 or more)
call (313) 871-1132 or visit www.nederlanderdetroit.com
MAMMA MIA! ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING AILABI E ON DLCCA BROADVAY