We’re 6 months away from “Every Draw Mohammed Day,” but we’re still hearing stories about violent anti-free-speech advocates. Most recently, the office of the satirical French weekly “Charlie Hebdo” was firebombed because of an upcoming edition in which a cartoon of Mohammed was to be printed. But apparently, in an inspiring tale of French badassery, they not only published the original, but they drew a subsequent cartoon. This time, it was of a male Muslim with a male Charlie Hebdo staff making out, under the words “Love: Stronger than hate.” And if there’s anything I love, it’s comedy; so in that spirit, I have compiled a list of the 10 best comedians YouTube can find, who talk specifically about Muslims, Islam, or even Osama Bin Laden. You’ll want to take a few minutes out of your day for this, trust me.
There are plenty comedians who deal with Judaism and Christianity; so much so, in fact, that a compilation like that would be gigantic. However, nowhere on the internet has there been such a compilation of material on Islam, and I thought that was such a shame. Most comedians won’t actually touch the subject – probably because they don’t want their offices to get firebombed and such. Actually, English comic Dara O’Braian gives one very logical reason about not talking about Muslims that doesn’t involve any threat of violence.
Regardless, I am rating these videos with two criteria in mind: how funny they are, and how offensive they are. And I don’t mean that kind of faux-offensiveness, like when the American comedy cartoon “South Park” had a giant Teddy Bear suit drawn, saying that the prophet Mohammed was inside it. People make too big a deal of stuff like that. I’m talking about the more blatant kind of offensiveness, like from a clip of the UK sketch show “Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights” spoofing an Iranian women’s talk-show.
Also, I only included videos of jokes on the stand-up stage, despite jokes on regular TV shows being funny. And yes, I’m sure other comedians have joked about Islam, but if they’re not on YouTube, I can’t show them. So let’s go ’round the world and laugh it up!
#10: Katt Williams (American)
Katt Williams discusses the absurdity of Islamic fanatics.
#9: Robin Williams (American)
Don’t worry, this list isn’t populated only by Williams. But here, Robin Williams talks about the true interpretation of the Koran.
#8: Billy Connolly (Scottish)
Billy Connolly digs into religion, and particularly Muslims who can’t take a joke. He talks about what he’d rather get than 53 or 72, or however many virgins. There’s another video of similar content which is longer, but the following video has much better quality.
#7: Maz Jobrani (American)
Maz Jobrani (an American of Iranian decent) talks about Osama Bin Laden, suicide bombers, and more. This is in fact a clip of the “Axis of Evil” comedy tour he did, which was what he talked about on the TED stage last year.
#6: Jimmy Carr (English)
Under the criterion of offensiveness, this video would normally be ranked #1 – in fact, Jimmy Carr is known for his highly offensive comedy. However, despite the fact that this video is basically an assembly of his most offensive joke, only at the end of it does he talk about Islam. So I was reluctant to put this video in… but under the criterion of how funny it is, it pushed it up in the rankings.
#5: Tommy Tiernan (Irish)
Tommy Tiernan first makes fun of Islamic music, and turns it into an Irish jig. Then the first video ends abruptly, but it ends where the second one begins. The second video has jokes about suicide bombers.
#4: Bill Maher (American)
Bill Maher makes jokes on 72 virgins in heaven, and the Middle East.
#3: Jim Jeffries (Australian)
Jim Jeffries does what no other comedian I’ve ever seen does. He not only makes fun of Islam, he explicitly calls fanatical Muslims out and insults them for their irrationalism, which he finds to be a degradation on Middle Eastern society. …He just does it a funnier, less eloquently sort of way. The first video begins after he talked at length about religious people, some of which you can see here (if you want more context). The last religion he talks about in his set is Islam, which is why it starts with “one more… Muslims.” It veers off into a non-Muslim-related tangent, but it’s funny, so it will remain in the #3 spot. The second video is what really pushed him to such a high rank, since he talks badly about Mohammed. Offensive indeed.
#2: Jeff Dunham (American)
Jeff Dunham is pretty much the only ventriloquist with any actual name recognition. But more likely, you may know him by his puppets’ names, such as Walter, or Achmed the Dead Terrorist. In the first video, you see Walter talking about 72 virgins, and in the second, he talks about suicide bombers. But in the third video, Achmed the Dead Terrorist is featured, and he’s really the star of the show. Achmed is basically a big caricature of suicide bombers, and Dunham proves just how much original material there is to be had on this subject.
#1: Russel Peters (Canadian)
Russel Peters has a unique style that gives him basically a free pass to say whatever he wants to. This is simply because, kind of like South Park, he doesn’t discriminate between targets – no one is off limits. In fact, with Peters’ comedy, most people want him to make fun of them. But of course, he doesn’t have the same sting that satires like South Park have, so he is always a crowd favourite. The first video shows some of the style of jokes that make him popular, making fun of several types of people at once – in this case, Jews, Arabs, and even deaf people. In the second video he talks about Muslims’ sense of humour, and stereotypes of Arabs. In the third, he talks about similar Arab stereotyping, but despite some similar jokes, none of these bits are actually the same. In the fourth, he ends with a nice punchline which I hope lets you leave this post on a high note.