Dean Obeidallah is an award-winning comedian who was at one time was a practicing attorney. Dean hosts “The Dean Obeidallah show” on SiriusXM radio, which is a platform for Muslim and Arab voices on issues of the week. He co-directed/co-produced the comedy documentary, “The Muslims are Coming!” which used comedy to counter anti-Muslim bigotry. He co-created the “Muslim Funny Fest,” the United States’ first ever-Muslim stand up comedy festival, which took place in New York City in July. Dean has appeared on numerous TV shows performing stand up comedy including Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” special, Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show,” ABC’s ”The View” and “Comics Unleashed.” In addition, Dean is a columnist for The Daily Beast and contributor to CNN.com Opinion and appears frequently on CNN and MSNBC. He has performed stand up comedy at colleges across the United States and has also performed frequently across the Middle East.
Maysoon Zayid is an actress, comedian, writer, and disability advocate. She is a graduate of and a Guest Comedian in Residence at Arizona State University. Maysoon is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for The Daily Beast. She has most recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey Networks In Deep Shift, 60 Minutes, and ABC News. Maysoon had the number one TED Talk of 2014 and was named 1 of 100 Women of 2015 by BBC.
As a professional comedian, Maysoon has performed in top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour. Maysoon appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the the Zohan and has written for VICE. She walked in New York Fashion Week and is proud to be an ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Maysoon is currently developing a comedy series with Hazy Mills Productions called If I Cancan.
Suzie was born and raised in Jericho, in the West Bank. Her dad was a welder and her mom was a reluctant farmer. When she was fourteen her family immigrated to San Jose, California. She attended San Jose State University then pretended to be a tax professional until her husband decided on a whim to move to Dubai. She lived in Dubai for three years doing random jobs, none of which made her Pakistani in-laws proud. In 2007, she delivered a boy in a government hospital in Dubai, she misses their food to this day. In 2008, the little family of three moved to NYC. In 2013, she started doing stand up because no one read her blog. When she is not doing stand up, she pretends to exercise and is very busy not writing. Her long term goal is be able to entertain from bed. She is available for any kind of event, seriously, anything!
Remy Munasifi ("GoRemy") is a YouTube comedian from Arlington, Virginia. His songs include "Hey There Khalilah," "Saudis in Audis," "A-R-A-B: The Rap," and "Tabbouleh: The Song." His latest album, "The Falafel Album" is available on Comedy Central Records.
Mike Easmeil, a comedian/writer of Palestinian heritage, is excited to again be part of the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival. A veteran of stand-up comedy, Mike first performed 16 years ago at Groucho's Comedy Club in Virginia while completing his communications degree. His clean, clever comedy pokes fun of himself, his family, and life's absurdities. In addition to owning a restaurant, being a husband and father of three, Mike performs at charity functions and comedy clubs on the East Coast.
Facebook: Mike Easmeil
Raised in Detroit Michigan. Family is of Chaldean descent. Started his career as a stand-in for Michael Imperioli on the TV show "Detroit 1-8-7". When the show finished filming, he dropped out of college and moved to LA. Recent TV appearances include Mistresses, Mixology, and Marvel Agents of Shield. Was cast in the 2013 ABC diversity showcase where only 20 actors were chosen among 7,000 submissions. Has a film coming out in 2015 titled "Dirty" which he starred in and produced alongside Roger Guenveur Smith. He can be seen doing stand up comedy all over the country.
Dina Hashem first tried stand-up by auditioning for the 2010 New Jersey Comedy Festival at Rutgers University. After winning 1st place, she continued to pursue comedy and has since been performing regularly at clubs including Broadway Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, Caroline's, Comic Strip Live, and The Stress Factory. Dina's style involves a subdued delivery with dark observations about her life and cultural upbringing. She has performed at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Boston Comedy Festival, Limestone Comedy Festival, and Burbank Comedy Festival. Her writing has also been featured on the websites of Comedy Central's Indecision Forever, CC Insider, and Nickelodeon.
Aron grew up in Washington D.C. He is a genius at impressions and tackles sensitive political subjects with humor. Aron is a founding member of “The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.” He starred on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend”, “The Shield,” F/X, VH1, E!, and CNN. Aron has been featured on NPR, in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and TIME. Kader has performed on Comedy Central’s “The Watch List,” and NBC’s “Beverly Hills SUV.”
Chicago based comedian Luai Hodi, returns for the 4th year in a row to the NYAACF. Luai will be bringing his unique style of comedy to NYC to entertain us all. Luai has performed stand up, sketch and improv all across the US from NYC to LA at comedy clubs, banquets, fundraisers, weddings, graduation parties and pretty much anywhere that there is a free meal.
Maher Matta started performing standup while in college in and hasn't stopped making people laugh since. He's performed all over the country at various comedy clubs and festivals including The World Series of Comedy, The New York Arab American Comedy Festival (2012, 2013), and the San Diego Comedy Festival. He is also appeared on Laughs Season 2 on FOX. As an immigrant, former police officer, husband, and father, Maher brings a unique perspective to the stage. His style of comedy revolves around day-to-day observations and story telling from his life growing up as a Lebanese immigrant.
Cerebral, caustic, and fearless, Byron Sadik is one of the hottest comics out of the Detroit comedy scene. He turns his venomous wit on everything from online dating, his failed stint as a cagefighter, and his own personal anecdotes. He has opened for some of the best comics in the country, including Hal Sparks and Doug Stanhope.
He grew up in Newark, NJ where the only Arabic spoken was either at home or 12 miles away in Paterson. With an engineering background, Murad expresses his less square side to everyone within an earshot. For him, the 11th Annual NYAACF is an opportunity to be in great company-mostly. Many thanks go to Maysoon and Dean for kicking in the door. HB Studios, HB Playwrights, Don’t You Know I’m Loco, Starlite, Dirty Egyptians.
Egyptian American comedian Eman Morgan aka "Celebrity", is arguably one of the hottest stand up comedians today. Besides performing Stand Up, Eman is on a life long mission to personally meet Amr Diab! He also credits his sister for much of his success!
Ali sultan saw his first stand up comedian when he moved to America from Yemen at the age of 15. He grew the desire to go on stage but first he needed to learn English. Years later Ali began his comedy adventure to become the first and only person from Yemen to do stand up comedy professionally.
In his the first year of comedy he made name for himself in the Minnesota comedy scene by becoming the first comic to win both Acme's Funniest Person Contest and House of Comedy's Funniest Person with day job contest in the same year.
He was named in the 2017 Growler's magazine as top 5 comedians to watch. He also made history by becoming the first Yemeni American to make it on national television by being on Comedy Central's Hart of The City show with Kevin Hart. Ali also feels very strange about writing this bio in the third person.
Atheer is a Palestinian-American raised in both Alabama and Palestine. She started performing comedy after moving to New York City, and hopes to either make a living at it, or at least redefine what American audiences think when they hear the words “Arab” and “bomb” in the same sentence. She produces a monthly stand up show in NYC, Shady Pines Comedy Hour, and is very excited to return to the festival for her third year.
Ramy Youssef is an actor and comedian from New Jersey. He currently stars in the Nick at Nite sitcom, See Dad Run, alongside Scott Baio and Mark Curry. He is half of the award-winning NYC sketch duo, Inside Joke Films, who have been official selections at the Chicago, San Francisco, and New York Sketch Comedy Festivals. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he misses New York.
Winner of Just For Laugh's 2011 Irwin Barker Homegrown Comic Award and NOW Magazine's 2011 Best of Toronto Award for Best Male Stand-up in 2011, a Canadian Comedy Award-nominee for Best Stand-up in 2012 and another nomination for NOW Magazine's Best of Toronto Award in 2013, Dave Merheje is making waves as one of the edgiest comics in the country today. Drawing from his Lebanese-Canadian perspective and personal experiences straight from the streets, Merheje is unfettered by political correctness. His "no fear" approach to comedy has gained a loyal following. Pure raging energy, he is electric, aggressive and in-your-face. Nothing is sacred as he fires off on urban life, Middle Eastern politics, Islamic extremists, working in strip clubs, club culture, drugs and masturbation. In 2014 Dave returned to Just For Laughs in Montreal, for his FOURTH appearance. This past year has been full of successes for Merheje. He won the 2013 Canadian On Campus Activities (COCA) Performer of the Year award, has been nominated for NOW Magazine's Best of Toronto "Best Male Stand-up", and shot several episodes for the upcoming television series Too Much Informationwhich will air on Super Channel!
Lebanese-Palestinian-Syrian-Italian-American, born in Oakland, California, Sammy Obeid (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) is best known for his 1,001 day streak of consecutive comedy performances. It began on December 26th, 2010, and concluded on September 21st, 2013– four days after an appearance on TBS’s Conan. Breaking the old world record on Day 731, Sammy set the new one at 1,001 Arabian Nights of Comedy.
Over the course of the streak, he appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and advanced to the Las Vegas round, and became the first comedian to perform on The Food Network. Splitsider conducted an extensive interview with him entering the home stretch. LA Weekly praised Sammy’s “sheer force of will” in performance and lifestyle, and LA Mag recommended his show highly. He was profiled in TIME Magazine, followed soon after by an article in the New York Times. Published on his final day, it describes his material as “full of wordplay” and “clever misdirection.”
Chunks of his streak were spent as youngest member of both the CoExist Comedy and Axis of Evil: New Generation national tours. Capping the streak, his debut album, Get Funny or Die Trying, was named a Best Comedy Album of 2013 by iTunes. Not slowed, Sammy has now embarked on a national college tour performing for hundreds of students a week.
Sammy has founded his own comedy enterprise, KO Comedy. He’s hard at work on both a book and documentary about his 1,001 Nights, each with the witty advice and deep-insider view found on his blog.