201612 NBK

Comedy is in my Genes! – Muhammed AlKazemi

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AlKazemi’s first tryst with comedy was when he started to tell stories of his own, to his friends at the Diwaniya or man cave as he likes to call it. “I don’t like to brag, but I think I have always been funny. That is my thing, I am the funny guy.” Encouraged by friends, Muhammed finally stepped onto the stage at his University, Australian College of Kuwait, in 2011, to explore, what was to then become his career.

Having been born in a big family that boasts of a diverse cultural mix, Muhammed Al Kazmi grew up between storytellers. “I have aunts and uncles, who have this unique knack for telling stories. As a kid, I would just listen to them mesmerized. Not only is their style natural, their delivery itself is effortless.”

On the recommendation of Basher Al Jazzaf, both a dear friend and a fellow comedian, Muhammed signed up with Al Gas Events. “It was funny how it all worked out. Al Gas events were a comedian short, and that’s how I happened to get on board with them during the volume
2 for ‘that comedy show.’ Like the famous Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan says, “when you want something badly enough the entire universe conspires to get it to you.””

Muhammed is a movie buff, who loves Shah Rukh Khan, Batman and bikes. His ultimate goal is to be Hollywood bound, where the role of villain would be the ideal setting for his dreams. “I am a ‘what if…’ guy. Most of my jokes revolve around outrageous situations and what if they came true.”

With a family that doesn’t necessarily understand his career choice and a mother who has never missed a show, Muhammed feels life is all about following your passions, believing in yourself and going for it. “I believe being able to do comedy is a gift. You are either funny or not. It’s not like tennis, where practice can make you perfect. And having this gift I feel obligated to cultivate it. What job in this world after all could be better than making people laugh?”

In his opinion, Kuwait is a tough market for standup comedy. In a country where the audience can at times be conservative, his material has to be carefully crafted. In a time where standup comedy is mostly about relationships, politics and religion, those are the very topics of taboo in Kuwait. “I think that’s what is most challenging about being a standup comedian here, the not having as much freedom as international standup comics do. If you were to take a standup comedian from Kuwait and put him on an international stage, he would have a lot more to offer. Freedom of speech or the lack thereof is our greatest challenge and our biggest advantage.”

Although, he is quick to add that the Kuwaiti comedy scene itself is evolving. He believes people are now more receptive of standup comedy both as a career choice and as entertainment. “People used to see standup comedians as clowns, that’s changing now. The industry is growing; there are a lot of comedians popping up every day. It’s good to be right here, right now.”

Standup comedy is not all; Muhammed has also done cinema, theatre, voiceovers for animated movies and is currently the Creative Director at Area 65, a multimedia and marketing firm. “Doing standup opened up a lot of avenues for me. It has led me to a whole world of possibilities. From where I see right now, sky is the limit.”

Muhammed’s advice to aspiring standup comedians, “Develop your own style, write your own material, and don’t plagiarize. It is amazing, to have this capacity to make people laugh, if you do it, do it well!”