We take stand up comedy for granted in the United States and often forget how important it has been in our culture. From Lenny Bruce to The Daily Show, standup comedians have served as important truth-tellers that point out hypocrisies in our culture as well as remind us that much of what we have in common are our frailties and imperfections.
The Middle East is not the first place that comes to mind when you think of standup comedy, and due to it’s general history of religious and military oppression, free speech through comedy has not perpetuated until very recently. Cell phones, the internet and social media movements like twitter and Facebook have crowbarred open previously closed cultures.
Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed continues this trend by touring the Middle East with a host of other internationally acclaimed Comedians and documenting their performances in Dubai, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In his film “Just Like Us”
In this clip, exclusive to HitFix, Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani discusses the differences in the number of greeting kisses from country to country, always an awkward thing to get wrong, but somewhat absurd rules to begin with.
Enjoy the clip embedded above, the film opens June 10th in New York and LA and wider on Jun 17th