Trevor Noah and Dave Chappelle brought the house down at the Dubai Comedy Festival
Trevor Noah may no longer be on OSN, but he had audiences roaring with laughter in Dubai. (Twitter)
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The Dubai Comedy Festival was a roaring laugh from start to finish. This year's festival held from October 15 - 24, raised the comedy bar high for both international acts as well as local ones. People hungry for laughing fits came in droves to the festival, hosted across several venues in the city including DUCTAC, Meyana Theatre at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, stages across Comedy Strip at JBR Walk and the custom-made 4,500-seat main stage at Sky Dive Dubai.
The festival started with Dubai 3al Wagef that featured a much needed dose of regional comedy talent such as Bader Saleh, Ibrahim Al Khairallah, Fahad Al Butairi, Waddah Swar, Mohammed Salem, Adi Khalefa and Dubai's own Ali Al Sayed. This was a great opportunity for both performers in the region and audiences hungry for closer to home comedic stylings to get their fill of locally inspired gags. Dubai 3al Wagef managed to bring much needed and deserved attention to the rich and growing pool of comedic talent in the city.
The obvious main attraction that was getting Dubai excited, was the arrival of two heavy weight comedians. One legend and another on his way to comedy icon status. A comedian who needs no introduction is Dave Chapelle, known for his incredibly popular comedy sketch show, The Chapelle Show that received global fame. While Trevor Noah is a comedian with a young and fresh perceptive who recently got picked as the next host of The Daily Show, replacing the legendary Jon Stewart.
To say that the venues were packed on the nights Dave Chappelle performed is an understatement. This was the first time the 42- year old comedian was performing in Dubai and he didn't fail to give us what we wanted. Known for his impressions, racial stereotypes and politics, Chappelle left nothing unsaid during his gigs. He covered all of the controversial issues that most of us dare not giggle at including The Bill Cosby scandal. Chappelle has an undeniable talent to talk about issues with extreme humour while still making us think.
Trevor Noah approaches subjects in a more light hearted manner. Noah tailored his set to the crowd and his experience of Dubai. Taxi drivers, the complicated roads, the Arabic language, Noah weaved in and out of stories without going too far off course, holding our attention with his witty observations and masterful accents. Politically and socially relevant Noah is an observer that wasn't interested in making a particular point. None of this was a surprise. What people didn't expect though was that Noah's opening act would leave them just as breathless from laughter.
Mo Amer is an American comedian of Palestinian descent. With much energy and enthusiasm, he hilariously told stories of his youth in the States as a refugee, recounted incidents of his journey to obtain American citizenship and described all too familiar family dynamics many Arab and Asian expats found relatable.
Other international comedians who featured in the festival were the comic magician, Mac King, Hannibal Buress and Jerrod Carmichael.
By Maan Jalal