US comedian Maysoon Zayid reflects on putting her Muslim culture and disability to work in life and acclaimed stand-up comedy.
US Comedian Maysoon Zayid reflects on putting her Muslim culture and disability to work in life and acclaimed stand-up comedy.
Maysoon Zayid founded the Arab-American comedy festival and gave one of the most watched TED talks on the past few years on her life as a raucously funny and clever stand-up comedian, and a Muslim woman with cerebral palsy living in New Jersey.
Over the past year, she has been forced to employ personal security for some of her gigs because of specific threats. Here, she gives a hilarious tongue-lashing to the culture of prejudice, riffing on the fact that nearly all disabled roles on American TV and Film are played by able-bodied actors.
Maysoon grew up in New Jersey, but spent every summer with her grandparents in the Palestinian territories watching a tatty-but-loved version of Sesame Street and Arab soap-operas. Her dream was to be a New York daytime soap actress but, after hovering in the background as an extra for eighteen months, realised that her type of people were stand-up comedians, not actors. She's currently working on her own online family comedy series set during Ramadan.
A Foghorn Company production for BBC Radio 4.