Maz Jobrani is an Iranian-American whose comedy career is defined by an incredible sense of humor and great comic timing. With the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States of America, the lives of every middle-eastern living in America changed irrevocably and Maz Jobrani has tailored his comedy to the realities of being a middle eastern living in a post 9/11 America.
One way he has done this is by becoming a member of The Axis Evil, a comedy group made up of four Middle Eastern comics. However, the group was disbanded in 2011, but Maz Jobrani has persevered and made strides in his career, releasing his own specials and making a number of appearances in films and on television shows.
Maz Jobrani’s Comedy Brand is Rife With Racial Relations
Maz Jobrani does observational comedy and satire and the topics he mostly addresses with his comedy are racism, islamophobia, the subject of Islam itself, and politics. Jobrani has described his life in America as being one where he has never fully felt like an American neither has he been able to fully connect with his Iranian roots – and this displacement is a constant theme in his comedy.
The nature of his comedy has given him the opportunity to be a guest on talk shows like The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. More so, the comedian who speaks on a broad topic is also known for passing on vital information via his comedy. One such is when he makes jokes about being an immigrant; even though he gets the audience to laugh, Jobrani also uses the medium to speak of the realities of immigrants in America – of which he has first-hand experience as he struggled with his identity for quite a long time.
He Abandoned A Ph.D. To Become A Comedian
Maz Jobrani had always nursed dreams of becoming a comic and actor since he was a child after he saw Eddie Murphy’s comedy. As a teenager in high school, he would attend drama classes but he did not make any actual plans to become a comedian or actor until the late 1990s. It was while he was studying for a Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, that he made up his mind to pursue comedy as a career – a decision that disappointed his mother who wanted him to become a lawyer.
Jobrani described the feeling of being on stage as feeling alive in comparison to the feeling his political science classes elicited in him. He initially started out with open mic nights, where he performed observational comedy on the hybridity that comes with being an Iranian man living in America. In 2005, he started to tour with the company Axis of Evil. This was a comedy group that got their name from the 2002 George Bush speech where he referred to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as areas of terrorism.
This group was created by comedian Ahmed Ahmed and featured Aron Kader, Dean Obeidallah, and Maz Jobrani – all middle-eastern men – as the main members of the group. Two years after the group’s creation they had their own special on Comedy Special. However, Axis of Evil broke up in 2011 but while they existed they were featured in a number of publications, and Time Magazine described their comedy as ‘warfare happening through humorous means.’ The group was also notable for touring The Middle East visiting countries such as UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Bahrain.
Max Jobrani Has A Few Movie and Writing Credits Under His Belt
Aside from being a comic, Jobrani is also an actor who has appeared in a number of Television shows. His acting credits feature him in shows such as Still Standing, The West Wing, Malcolm in the Middle, and The Knights of Prosperity. In Superior Donuts, he played Fawz and as a regular on the show, DragonFly, he portrayed Jimmy Vestvood. More so, American Hero and 13 Going on 30 are some of the films he has acted in. On 13 Going on 30, he also worked as one of the film’s writers.
In 2015, he published his autobiography, “I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One on TV: Memoirs of a Middle Eastern Funny Man” Another one of his endeavors is the co-ownership of a podcast MiniVan Men. He hosts the podcast alongside fellow comics, Chris Spencer, and Al Madrigal, and it airs on the All Things Comedy Podcasting Network. It is also known that Jobrani is on the board of the Persian American Cancer Institute where he contributes in a philanthropy dispensation to the cause that the board is concerned with.
He Has Lost 3 Members Of His Family
Maz Jobrani was born on 26th February 1972 in Tehran, Iran to parents who were both Iranians but when he was six, his family moved from Iran to the United States. This was where he would end up spending both his childhood years and adult life. The family of 5 made up of Maz, his two siblings and their parents had their home at Tiburon in the San Francisco Bay
Sadly, Jobrani’s life has been filled with tragic happenings that began with the loss of his father even before he kicked off his career in comedy. Then in 2014, his younger brother, Kashi Jobrani, passed on. The tragedy in his family continued when his sister, Mariam Jobrani lost her battle with breast cancer and died in August 2017.
These tragedies have somehow defined his career, as he incorporates aspects of what being from a middle-eastern family feels like. His mother is the only living member of his family and the two maintain a good relationship to date.
Maz Jobrani is a Married Man – And His Wife is an Attorney
It is not unfounded for people to have desires to marry people who share their culture and in the case of Maz Jobrani, that would have required him to marry a woman from Iran or one who was middle-eastern but raised in America. That was his mother’s desire for him and unlike her dreams of him becoming a lawyer, this one came to pass.
Maz Jobrani is married to India-born attorney, Preetha Jobrani. Although it is not known when they started dating, the two got married in 2006 and they have welcomed two children – a son named Dhara Jobrani, and a daughter, Mila Jobrani. They are happily married and are living together in California where they are raising their kids amicably – despite their cultural differences.
As a lawyer, Preetha has done very well for herself as she has a career that has spanned about two decades. During this period, she had the privilege of working with top firms like the Hilton Luxury & Lifestyle Group before setting up her own consultancy firm in 2011. She has also had the opportunity to visit the Obamas back alongside Maz in 2016.