Allah Made Me Funny: A Brief History (2003-2011)
ALLAH MADE ME FUNNY: The Official Muslim Comedy Tour is the longest-running artistic collective of Muslim comic performers anywhere on the planet. Its comedians have toured over thirty countries, on five continents, and over 100 major world media outlets have covered the Tour. The AMMF comedians have appeared on, and/or been interviewed by, literally every single broadcast television network in America, as well as dozens of cable and satellite channels around the world.
Founded in 2003 as a solo show, “Allah Made Me Funny” began as the brainchild of standup veteran Preacher Moss, whom the Seattle Times called “A New Dick Gregory,” owing to his conscious artistry, intelligent wit, and unabashedly insightful material on race and culture in America. Considering himself a “poor righteous teacher” of the Old Skool, Preach has been a successful touring standup comic for over two decades, working the club circuit and growing a successful solo comedy/lecture show called “End of Racism” as a campus favorite at high schools, colleges, and universities across the country. In 2004, Preach began collaborating with Azhar Usman, then a young comedian with only a few years in comedy under his belt. Though he was just an up-and-comer, Azhar had already shown signs of promise and vision, having helped pioneer an alternative comedy circuit (a la the “Chitlin Circuit” or the “Borscht Belt” of yesteryear), which he affectionately called “The Kabob Circuit.” A former attorney and dotcom entrepreneur, Azhar cut his teeth learning standup before some of the most difficult audiences imaginable—at ethnic and religious community events. In 2003 Azhar released his self-produced, (now classic) underground comedy album, entitled “Square the Circle: American Muslim Comedy of Distortion,” which maintains a cult following to this day. He was gratuitously labeled “America’s Funniest Muslim” by CNN. The two men went on to collaborate with South Carolina-based club headliner, Azeem Muhammad, and together performed dozens of shows throughout the U.S. and Canada from 2004 until 2006, under the banner of “Allah Made Me Funny.”
Then, in the fall of 2006, as their collaboration with Azeem Muhammad was ending, another comedian entered the mix: Mohammed Amer from Houston, Texas. Mo was already a young club headliner in the South, regularly appearing at comedy clubs, alternative local comedy rooms, and even performing for American troops doing international tours. Performing standup since the tender age of fifteen, Mo had been mentored by local comedy legend, Danny Martinez, whose mastery of the craft of standup is beyond question. After his appearance at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, Mo began criss-crossing with Preach and Azhar at Muslim community events along “The Kabob Circuit,” until it became patently obvious that the three-man crew had a special artistic alchemy. What do you get when you combine three Muslim comedians: 1 African-American + 1 Indian-American + 1 Palestinian-American = ALLAH MADE ME FUNNY!
In addition to touring the world over, the three comics wrote and starred in the independent documentary/concert film, “ALLAH MADE ME FUNNY: LIVE IN CONCERT!” (director Andrea Kalin; 2008), which enjoyed a limited theatrical release in approximately a dozen large U.S. markets. The film went on to become one of the top-20 highest grossing standup comedy concert films of all time.
“Allah Made Me Funny: I respect you immensely…”
— Dave Chappelle
“The title doesn’t lie.”
— The New York Times
“Insightful, empowering, and hilarious!”
— Margaret Cho
“It’s a fresh, funny show with enormous global potential…
Allah Made Me Funny is an idea whose time has come.”
— Russell Peters