LOS ANGELES — Comedy helps ease tense conversations, and whether he is on stage or on screen, opposite Rita Wilson, Iranian American artist Maz Jobrani always finds a way to use humor to bring people together.
But these days, while comedy clubs and production sets have halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maz is still creatively providing laughter through virtual experiences
"March 12 was the last time I got to perform inside a comedy club with an audience. And comedians, we usually get on stage five to ten times a week,” Jobrani said.
While virtual comedy isn’t exactly the same as stand-up comedy, Jobrani is still spreading a very important message through his material, shedding light on America’s vast diversity and increasing empathy for the immigrant experience.
“I think it’s important for people to know that immigrants love America. That we come here to better our own lives, but also, better America,” he explained.
That’s why he has also been vocal in supporting protests, both within the United States regarding Black Lives Matter, and for protesters in Iran who were nearly executed this month due to speaking out against the government.
“Having seen the protests in Iran, my heart goes out to the protesters, and I know that the Iranian government quite often clamps down on the protests in a violent fashion. Which, no matter where you’re from, you should support the protesters and their right to protest,” he said.
Immigrating to the U.S. from Iran at the age of 6, Jobrani doesn’t take for granted his own freedom to be able to speak out on any topic. That’s why he believes it’s so important to be able to laugh at our differences, even when we disagree.
“Compassion and openness when it comes to other points of views, I think, is a good way, forward,” he emphasized.
And even if it’s just him and his computer for now, Maz Jobrani will continue forward in spreading freedom through laughter.