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Arts & Culture

Allah Made Me Funny

Preacher Moss, the founder of this comedy troupe, says in the press materials, "This film embodies a level of humor and truth that transcends religious affiliation. Being a Muslim in America comes with its joys and struggles, and it's constantly complicated. I think comedy is the best language to use to talk about sensitive issues, and we are ready to start this conversation with the world."

Moss is joined in the film by Azhar Usman and Mohammad Amer. Moss is an African American who converted to Islam; Usman was raised in Chicago by immigrant parents from India; and Amer is a Palestinian who settled in Texas.

Amer explains in the press materials, "Doing my comedy is like sharing food with the hungry - you want to give it to everyone who is starving. Ignorance is running rampant across the world about Muslim society and culture, and this is going to help open people's eyes."

So we discover the problems of having a little nephew named Osama and living in post 9/11 America. I mean you can't go down the aisles yelling "Osama!" We also get to look over their shoulders as they try to refine and write jokes about things like airport security.

The film tries hard to give us some time with the comedians off stage and to let us meet some of their family members (many of whom appear in the stand up material). But director Andrea Kalin delivers off-stage material that offers just superficial introduction to the comedians and the process of creating their comedy. The comedians prove entertaining but none really delivers a killer routine that makes you think "oh, he's going to go far and breakout from the stand up circuit." In some ways Ahmed Ahmed was showcased better in the recent Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show.

Allah Made Me Funny (unrated) offers an entertaining introduction to Muslim comics. The material ranges from amusing to occasionally biting and insightful. It is essentially a filmed concert with occasional backstage footage.

Companion viewing: Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, Divine Intervention