Comedian Max Amini, 33, talks heritage and heckling
What’s your earliest memory of comedy? Watching Jerry Lewis movies as a kid with my father.
What was it about comedy that made you think this is where you belong? I graduated high school and I was looking for a major to study. I had a hard time figuring out what it was that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My father said to me, ‘Pick a major that you really love, so once you graduate college you follow that path.’ So I took a few different courses just to see how I felt about it. I was genuinely in love with my acting class. It made me feel the most alive, the most productive, the most focused. So I majored in acting and I’ve been acting for about 14 years since, doing stand-up comedy alongside it. I can’t be happier with the decision I made.
What’s the worst heckle you’ve ever had? There are different types of hecklers. There are those who think they’re funny. They tend to only make the show more embarrassing for themselves. Then there are those who are so far gone they don’t make any sense. They’re the hardest hecklers to deal with because when they’re belligerent and they become an interruption to the flow of the show. You can’t even use their heckles in your routine and move on. I roll with the punches. If something comes up I make the best of it, so I welcome any challenges that come my way.
A lot of your material relates to your Iranian heritage. Do you like to perform to Middle Eastern audiences? My comedy is really very universal. I perform at comedy clubs on a nightly basis, so I’m a comedian who performs for anyone. It’s about who you are and you perform you. When you Google my performances, because I have a big Iranian following, you see those videos first, but my new hour is mainly about relationships. The best way I can explain it is that stand-up comedy is a comedian’s perspective of the world, and that sums up everything.
Which comedians make you laugh? Comedians get jaded. We sit at the comedy club, watch one another and we appreciate it, but it’s not all the time that we laugh out loud. We just nod our heads and say ‘that’s funny’.
What can we expect from your show in Dubai? Live stand-up comedy is so different to what you see on TV. I create a story with the audience alongside my material and it’s a very particular experience to that night itself. People who love comedy should come out and see for themselves then either delete me from their Facebook or celebrate by poking me. Dhs250-375. Friday July 24, 7pm and 9.30pm. Centrepoint Theatre, Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 341 4777).