Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

How does an Arab-American Comic deal with 9/11?

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The Chicago interview with one of the band’s founding members, Walt Parazeider, is done.  Too many things to do and I got a little behind.  So, I’ll be relying more on a calendar to keep things as uncluttered as I can.  Walt was such a nice guy.  He kept saying how much he appreciated the opportunity to work, and tour and how grateful he was to his fans.

Will also have the interview with Arab-American comedian Dean Obeidallah done in the next day or so.  He was a pretty normal guy.  I mention Arab-American because it’s part of his schtick; he says he goofs on white people, like all comedians of minority ethnicity do.  And for the most part, they’re good with it.  He gets an occasional heckler, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to be on the receiving end of his wit.  But, he also said that because he looks white, sometimes, he plays down the fact that he’s from the Middle East.  Considering today’s anniversary, I wonder if today will be one of those days.

When I think of comedians, I think of Robin Williams or Sam Kinison or, of course, Richard Pryor.  Dean was cool in that he is that special breed of comic, the political comic.  When I think of political comedy, I think of the Capitol Steps or, from an earlier time, Steve Allen, or Mark Twain even.

Comedians are the modern equivalent of the court jester.  Usually, the jester was the wittiest person on the King’s court and they were always skirting the line between life and death with the innuendo or in-your-face things they dared to say that would get anybody else s’ head chopped off.  But because they said it with the manner of a “fool”, they were forgiven or ignored.  But comedians have known forever that the best way to get past our defenses is with humor.

Dean was calm and cool and I hope his tour is successful.

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Written by Interviewer

September 11, 2012 at 22:54

Posted in Art

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