The man tickling Oman’s funny bone shares the secret to his success
February 28, 2018 | 7:21 PM
by Times News Service
Comedy Central is always on the lookout for great Arab comedians and cares very much for diversity.

Comedy Central presents, the first show by the acclaimed US network to be completely produced and hosted in the Middle East, opened to critical acclaim in the region and beyond last year.

For co-host Ali Al Sayed, a comedian from the UAE, the show’s success was simply another feather in his cap. Speaking exclusively to the Times of Oman, Al Sayed shared the secret of his success, his path to becoming a professional comedian, and the future of his hit show. For Al Sayed, the choice to become a comedian was a natural one. “Comedy was always at the back of my mind. I was inspired by comedians such as Chris Rock. I never really thought that I could do such bold things as he does. My family was actually very supportive, maybe worried at times about my well-being. My biggest supporter is my wife, she’s my rock,” he says.

Al Sayed’s talent opened up a wealth of opportunities, allowing him to eventually become the co-host of Comedy Central Presents, the first stand-up comedy programme filmed in the GCC. Alongside Arab-American funny man Mo Amer, he welcomed dozens of comics from around the region for 10 half-hour shows.

Throughout its highly successful inaugural season, Al Sayed was proud of the role the show played in expanding the reach of its participants and looks forward to an even bigger second season, promising even more laughs. “We’re back for Season 2 and then Season 3 later this year with ‘Comedy Central Presents’. It’s been amazing. “Nearly 70 comedians from the region got the opportunity to widen their reach and audience. What this show brings to the community is a huge boost,” he says.

“It’s a beautiful time to be a comedian. It’s so much better being a comedian in the Middle East. We have this unique opportunity to shed light on issues internally and externally. We can show the global eye a different side of us, different to their perception based on things they may have read or heard about us on their TV screens.

“Internally, we can challenge ourselves and talk about issues that are sometimes considered taboo within our community. Discussion and debate make things better, and comedy is just a fun way of doing that,” he adds. Al Sayed’s love for Oman runs deep and with such a wide range of talent appearing on the show, viewers in the Sultanate must stay tuned to see their own local comedians take the stage.

“Oman is one of my favourite places on earth, and I’ve travelled a lot. The places, the culture, and most importantly, the Omani people are very dear to my heart. I’ve done many corporate events in Oman and always want to do more. Comedy Central is always on the lookout for great Arab comedians and cares very much for diversity. I’m sure we’ll see involvement from Omani comedians in the future,” he concludes.

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