Sultans of Satire


Talk about peace and free speech! These American Arab, Iranian and Jewish stand-up comedians are very funny and very free. Here they share their ingenious universal humor on identity politics, Washington, sex, love and more on August 13th, in another edition of the Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief, the national comedy-satire show launched 10 years ago by the Levantine Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Featuring special guest Sammy Obeid, hosted by Meslissa Shoshahi and with Tehran, Zara Mizrahi, Ara Basil and Noël Elgrably. Cover is $15 general, $10 members, seniors and students. Reserve by phone, 323.413.2001, online or at the door—but advanced reservations are always advised.

Reserve tickets online here.

The Markaz (formerly the Levantine Cultural Center) has served the greater Los Angeles area for 14 years by presenting arts and education programs on the Middle East and North Africa. Welcoming people of all nations and religions, the Center fosters friendship and open dialogue, fights ignorance and intolerance, and forges a stronger, more diverse American society through programs and services that that bridge political, cultural and religious divides. But don't be fooled: this comedy show is as funny as it gets.

For tickets and information, contact 323.413.2001.


HOST MELISSA SHOSHAHI is an Iranian-American stand-up comedian and actress. She began her career as a TV host for a popular Persian channel, and is one of only a few female Iranian stand up comedians in the world. Shoshahi transitions her comedy beautifully between her Middle Eastern roots and her upbringing in America, making her witty style universal to all crowds. She has recently written and produced a sketch for Nickelodeon, and competed in the 38th Annual San Francisco Comedy Competition. Melissa has appeared in the Sultans of Satire since 2012. Watch clips.

HEADLINER SAMMY OBEID Lebanese-Palestinian-Syrian-Italian-American, born in Oakland, California, Sammy Obeid (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) is best known for his 1,001 day streak of consecutive comedy performances. It began on December 26th, 2010, and concluded on September 21st, 2013—four days after an appearance on TBS's Conan. Breaking the old work record on Day 731, Sammy set the new one at 1,001 Arabian Nights of Comedy. Over the course of the streak, he appeared on NBC's America's Got Talent and advanced to the Las Vegas round, and became the first comedian to perform on The Food Network. Splitsider conducted an extensive interview with him entering the home stretch. LA Weekly praised Sammy's "sheer force of will" in performance and lifestyle, and LA Mag recommended his show highly. He was profiled in TIME Magazine, followed soon after by an article in the New York Times. Published on his final day, it describes his material as "full of wordplay" and "clever misdirection." Chunks of his streak were spent as youngest member of both the CoExist Comedy and Axis of Evil: New Generation national tours. Capping the streak, his debut album, Get Funny or Die Trying, was named a Best Comedy Album of 2013 by iTunes. Not slowed, Sammy has now embarked on a national college tour performing for hundreds of students a week. Sammy has founded his own comedy enterprise, KO Comedy. He's hard at work on both a book and documentary about his 1,001 Nights, each with the witty advice and deep-insider view found on his blog. Watch clips.

TEHRAN GHASRI is an Iranian African American from the Washington, DC area. He hosts weekly shows at the Los Angeles and Long Beach Laugh Factories and starred in a Sultans show that coincided with President Barak Obama's first inauguration. He was born to an Iranian father and an African-American mother. He received his B.S. and Masters degree from George Mason University in International Politics and in Economic Theory and Principle. He has a law degree from Georgetown Law University. Tehran has hosted his own radio & TV shows and on Rangarang and Tapesh Satellite TV. He performs stand-up comedy in clubs all over the U.S. Watch.

ZARA MIZRAHI returns for another Sultans show after a multitude of comedy performances throughout Southern California including at the Comedy Store, Flappers and the Laugh Factory. Born in Los Angeles to Mexican and Sephardic parents, she was a child model and began her acting career at 16, with comedy following shortly after. Zara performs stand-up every night, hosts and produces shows all over L.A., and appears on various podcasts and sketches. Watch.

ARA BASIL is of Armenian descent and a Hollywood native who is no stranger to the entertainment industry. He performs annually in "Laughter for Life", a charity showcase for the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry alongside Sam Tripoli and others. Since then, Ara has performed for countless benefits, festivals, and award shows all over the United States. He was asked to be the feature act for the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour in 2006, sharing the stage with Maz Jobrani, Aron Kader, and Ahmed Ahmed. Ara has also performed in the Sultans of Satire and The Funatical Comedy tours. He has graced the stage with Russell Peters, Chris Rock, Jeffrey Ross and countless others. He's been the opening act for Angelo Tsarouchas's Canadian Comedy tour. His first comedy DVD is Running on Armenian Time. Ara's material is rich with Middle Eastern and western Humor. He provides an intellectual, entertaining, and insightful view of the follies of the two cultures. Ara Basil can be seen regularly at comedy clubs all over the country but frequents the Comedy Store, Laugh Factory, the Improv, and the Icehouse in Los Angeles. Visit his site.

NOËL ELGRABLY grew up in the nation's capital but left his day-job selling insurance to pursue his calling as a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles. The son of a French-Moroccan father and Moroccan-Israeli mother, he offers an original comedic perspective on growing up as a child of immigrants below the Mason-Dixon line. He can be seen performing regularly at Los Angeles area comedy clubs including the Comedy Store, Laugh Factory, Improv and the Icehouse. He has appeared in the New York City Arab-American Comedy Festival, the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, and is a regular cast member of The Sultans. He has appeared on Fox TV and trained as a dramatic actor. Noël was featured in the indie feature films What Do I Do Now?, Clean, Fairfax File and the comedy short film Please God Someone Normal. Visit his site.

Will you come?

$15.00 General
$12.00 Members and Seniors
$10.00 Students

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