We all know the importance of mentors and people whose greatness inspires us. Who were your greatest motivators?
Oh I have several motivators. Mazen Saleh; my uncle, he is one of the role models I grew up with that loved life and was always there for me, he went with the moto: impossible is i’m-possible. Johnny Dabeet; my business partner and mentor for the past 10 years, the creator of the show Bath Bayakha, and my great friend, I see him everyday for the past 10 years, he changed my perception, changed my attitude, and was there for me in every ordeal I ever went through. I owe him and always will owe him. Nadim Gargour; a great business man, a music lover, and a very big supporter in my career. The most clever human being I know.
Jordanians are known for their famous Kashra (frown) which usually portrays how serious we are in our daily life. How did you manage to erase that Kashra off of people’s faces and actually brought comedy and joy into our lives? Was that a challenge? And how did you overcome it?
First of all I don’t think I did what you said! Jordanians are funny, the kashra is just a defense mechanism to dealing with the difficult every day life here, its just a mask, but try smiling to someone in a traffic light, and I guarantee you that they will smile back.
“Humor is subjective, I might roll on the floor laughing on a joke that you might find silly and not funny at all, It boils down to the intention of the joke, if its meant to hurt it will.”
Do you think their’s a healthy competition in the field? Or at all…
I think competition is healthy, all forms of it, because it pushes you to give your best.
Is there anything you have on your wish list—whether personal or career—something in your life that you want to have or do that has yet to be accomplished?
I have many. But what I really wish is to have a nice house on a tree filled land, with all sorts of vegetables and fruits, and have a small music studio inside, and play with the kids on that lovely land, but that will cost around 1.8 million JD, so that’s never going to happen. But will do my best to provide it to my son.
Gay jokes are still so common in movies, comedy shows/sketches… That’s why, whenever anyone points out how common they are, some say, “Hey, maybe this is contributing to a culture of prejudice,” What do you think as a comedian? Do you think gay-related or homophobic jokes are just jokes and are not a big deal, or do you think they do contribute to culture of prejudice?
A joke is a joke, as long as its not meant to hurt, and just meant to make you laugh.
But what exactly is “offensive gay joke” anyway? No one is saying all gay jokes are offensive – just jokes that are mean-spirited or cheap or lazy. But what does that mean exactly? Is humor notoriously subjective?
Humor is subjective, I might roll on the floor laughing on a joke that you might find silly and not funny at all, It boils down to the intention of the joke, if its meant to hurt it will.
Do anti-homophobic jokes exist? In our time, can someone mock homophobia yet? As someone in the show business/ public eye-witness, is homosexuality more accepted in your world, the ‘show business’, than those on the streets?
Probably, but generally homosexuality is hidden here, it’s not out in the open. (mmm we disagree on this one Wissam)