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Comedian Nemr pushes the envelope on Arab cultural habits, traditions and even politics using laughter to make audiences see past the stereotypes and anger in the post-Sept. 11, 2001 world. This week, he performs in Greater Detroit and expands his already impressive professional comedy resume
By Ray Hanania
Not many American Arab comedians have made the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, the iconic symbol of the American youth rebellion that started in the 1960s. But Nemr Abou Nasser is no ordinary comedian. He joins an impressive list of colleagues on Rolling Stone’s Cover including rock icon Mick Jagger, and comedians John Belushi, Woody Allen, Russell Brand, Jim Carrey, Bob Hope, Chevy Chase, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sam Kinison and Billy Crystal to name but a few.
Celebrated Lebanese American standup comedian Nemr Abou Nasser — just call him “Nemr” — has been there and his star continues to rise as one of the community’s funniest and most professional entertainments. Nemr is scheduled to rock the house tonight in a performance hosted by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce in suburban Detroit.
One of the many post-Sept. 11, 2001 crop of Americans who turned to comedy and humor to confront the rising tide of anti-Arab hatred and racism, Nemr has performed at sold-out performances throughout the Middle East and in the U.S. His performances are unpretentious and while he is riding the crest of the still unique and small American Arab standup comedy industry, Nemr has a style that reflects a comfort in himself and in today’s sometimes difficult world.
Uniquely, Nemr’s comedy doesn’t rely solely on his Arab cultural heritage and experience, but it is peppered throughout his performance. Instead, his comedy focuses on the broader topics that attract all audiences whether they are Arab or non-Arab and he does phenomenally well in front of all audiences.
Nemr has produced six full-featured specials, a prime time television show ‘A Stand Up Comedy Revolution‘, a movie release of two of his specials, ‘EPIC’ and ‘Victorious Secret’ – which, when it played live and subsequently formed the basis of the movie, sold out to over 3,000 people in one night and played in a Roman Coliseum.
The show is Thursday night, March 31, (2016) at The Corner Bar at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan beginning at 6 pm. The event is hosted by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce. Click here for more info. He also will perform at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, Michigan on April 3, and at Hilarities in Cleveland on April 6. He’ll continue touring through the Middle East in Oman, Dubai, Doha, Amman and Beirut through the rest of the month returning to Los Angeles performing May 14 at the Novo.
Nemr grew up in San Diego and then moved back with his family to Lebanon where he went on to break down barriers and unite people in a region where bombing on stage can have a completely different meaning.
He is an accomplished comic with six full feature specials, a prime time television show ‘A Stand Up Comedy Revolution’, a movie release of two of his specials, ‘EPIC’ and ‘Victorious Secret’ – which, when it played live and subsequently formed the basis of the movie, sold out to over 3,000 people in one night and played in a Roman Coliseum. He currently holds the record for the biggest show in every major country in the Middle East, with his latest special, Uninterrupted Funny Observations, selling out to over 4,000 people in one night in Beirut alone in July of 2014.
In May of 2014 he also featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine (Middle East) solidifying Nemr’s legacy as ‘The biggest name in Stand Up in the Middle East’ in writing.
He is now back in the USA and aims to do in America what he did across the Middle East, bring people together through laughter and merriment. He comes bearing gifts of myrrh and frankincense. No you can’t smoke them.
In his Debut U.S. tour Nemr will be performing in Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Florida, Michigan, Cleveland and before continuing to record breaking shows all over the Middle East and then returning to Los Angeles on May 14 at Club Nokia to finish this global event!
Be sure to download the NEMR app from your App Store to stay up to date with everything NEMR, and download his specials FOR FREE! You can also put your email above to subscribe to the newsletter.
Here are a few of his comedy routines posted on Youtube:
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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