Eman El-Husseini is a stand-up comedian. She is a Muslim Palestinian who is bisexual and married to fellow comedienne Jess Salomon, who is Jewish. Seems like their lives would be full of material for their acts. El-Husseini and Solomon have decided to move to New York City to try their hands at the comedy environment there. Before they leave in December they decided to give one last show to a Montreal crowd.
Happening at Club Soda El-Husseini’s “Live Taping” show was hosted by another Montreal comedian, Mike Ward. He warmed up the crowd with a few jokes of his own including recently becoming a vegetarian, a few Arab jokes (just to fit in, I guess) and how he has been in the news as he is being sued by the family of a young disabled boy for making a joke about their son. Despite the fact that the case is in court and he was probably not supposed to talk about it, Ward retold the joke.
Jess Salomon opened for her wife and did a great job. Solomon was part of the Montreal Show at this past summer’s Just For Laughs festival. Culture, religion, sexuality, sex, and politics made up most of her set. Most of her stuff is really clever and that makes sense as she was a UN war crimes lawyer before become a stand-up. Her laid back storytelling and observational humour style was greatly appreciated by the crowd. The highlights of her set included jokes about how Jewish kids, who are brought up with stories of death camps and the Nazis, are not afraid of the Boogeyman and that the name makes him sound Jewish. Also did a funny section about men and their special relationship with their penises and how if she had one she would name it Dick Chaney.
Eman El-Husseini has been working stand-up in Montreal (and around the world) since 2006. Her material is quite political and socially conscious with plenty of stuff about being Muslim and Arab. Again, she also made us laugh about religion (Jews are a tough people even Jesus wasn’t good enough for them), Israeli/Palestinian conflict and her parents. Unlike many comedians her repertoire is quite fluid. She doesn’t do one style of joke or stick within a particular subject or topic. El-Husseini told us how she has been to Calgary for the first time recently and was surprised at the difference between men there and in Montreal. Men in Calgary were very masculine and manly whereas men in Montreal wear scarves…in the summer. And how she realized for the first time while there that cranes actually move unlike those here in Montreal. Then she moved on to how dating was hard for her as she does not like people. Next up was a short bit about how she traveled to Israel and then loved her so much that they kept her…at the airport for three hours.
A true professional comic, her style is polished, quick-witted and ready for the Big Apple stages. Despite the fact that you could often see her jokes coming from a mile away she still is talented enough to make you laugh. Definitely the type of stand-up that you can see multiple times and still enjoy.