Omid Djalili may be bringing Godzilla back to the UAE.
His impersonation of the giant green lizard is, like much of his material, jaw-achingly hilarious.
Watch the British comedian, with Iranian roots, perform at the Music Hall in Dubai on November 11.
Djalili, whose credits include stints in movies (Shaun the Sheep Movie, Mr Nice, Gladiator), as a producer (We Are Many), and a subject (he featured in documentary Just Like US, out on Netflix), makes for good company.
It helps that he brings melody to the stage mix — thank you West End roles — and delivers punchlines that will have you supply the drumroll in your head.
Ahead of his show, the comedian tells Gulf News tabloid! why he loves comedy and the secret to his youth.
1. What can Dubai expect from your show?
Whatever they desire. Dancers, elephants, magic carpets. Well, probably not elephants. Probably not dancers either. Nor magic carpets. Basically just me talking for 90 minutes.
2. Your brand of humour is quite political — what are you finding funny these days?
Come to the show and find out.
3. What is inspiring you these days?
The concept of making peace with the past so it won’t disturb your present.
4. What’s your pet peeve (during a gig)?
People talking loudly to each other while I’m on stage. Once some Arab teenager was on his phone talking loudly while I was on stage as if he was watching TV in his living room. After this went on for a while the guy next to him ripped the phone out of his hand and threw it to me on stage. I balanced the phone on my chest, did a few keepie-ups with it and booted it back into the auditorium. The standing ovation lasted a full two minutes. ߘ?
5. What do you think is the role of humour in society?
For me personally the role of comedy is to keep your mind sharp and your spirit young.
6. You have written books [Hopeful, Live in London], worked in theatre and as a stand-up comic. What role do you like best/why?
Stand-up. The most direct and immediate art form. The simplest to do yet the hardest to get right, so therefore the most rewarding. When it goes wrong it’s awful. And it can cause existential problems because when they don’t laugh it’s because of YOU. They didn’t LIKE YOU. They hate YOU. Which is frightening.
7. When did you discover comedy — tell us about the first time you got up on stage for a show? And now, how have you evolved, how has your audience?
I discovered comedy down the back of my sofa, along with a Zimbabwean trillion dollar note (worth 49c). I then did a gig on a cruise ship and the audience evolved gills just so they could walk out on me.
8. What’s next for you?
UK part 3 tour of Schmuck For A Night. My favourite thing to do ߘ?
Don’t miss it!
Omid Djalili performs at the Music Hall in Dubai on November 11, at 6pm and 9pm. Tickets to each show start at Dh195.