More Hanania standup comedy info

More Hanania standup comedy info

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More Hanania standup comedy info

Ray Hanania’s Comedy

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90 minutes of standup comedy  that will restore your faith in peace
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Review of Ray Hanania’s comedy


Click to View CURRENT TV Documentary on Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour

HananiaGulfNewsDuring the past year, a group of extremist Muslims and secular Arab fanatics have launched a campaign of hatred targeting my efforts, lobbying Arab American and Muslim groups to not book my comedy act because I appeared with an “Israeli” comedian as a part of the “Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour and also because I advocate for peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on land-for-peace compromise and, more importantly, a rejection of violence. I reject violence and believe that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims must do more to speak out against the violence and fanaticism that infects our community.

Despite lies and distortions published by the “Electronc Intifida (which denies the Holocaust) and from Sousan Hammad, a pro-Jabha extremist at the University of Houston who advocates for the “one-state solution” (or the elimination of Israel and a rejection of peace based on compromise), I will continue to bring my message of peace through comedy to Arab, Muslim, Jewish and Christian Audiences not only in the United States and in Canada, but throughout Europe and the Middle East, audiences that continue to prove that despite the voices of extremists, moderation, pragmatism and reason dominate our communities. Peace is still a real possibility, despite the hatred. Here are some samplings of the comedy that the haters hate:

Ray Hanania Arab-Israeli-Jewish Comedy Show 2008 fromRay Hanania on Vimeo.

Hanania standup comedy (30 minutes) from a performance
at B’nai Yehuda Beth Shalom 3-22-08


Click here to view the video overview

London Ch 4 Profile of Ray Hanania’s
Palestinian-Israeli Comedy efforts

Ray Hanania on Tour mini-documentary by Israeli filmmaker Harvey Stein

Ray Hanania’s Podcasts
Click Here

Download the video Power of Humor by Ray HananiaWATCH THIS CHANNEL 4 UK Program on Hanania and the IP Comedy Tour

Aaron Freeman and Ray Hanania on “The Hour” with
George Stromboulopoulos, Canada TV

View/Download Power of Humor Power Point
An online presentation by Ray Hanania

Watch Hanania’s Online Sampler Tape (2004) 12 Minutes … Watch Hanania’s Online Demo Tape (2002) 10 Minutes. (The best material is in the show, not on the web)


Comments about Ray Hanania

“If we can laugh together, we can live together … Humor is one way to bring Palestinians and Israelis together and to fight the growing extremism that keeps them apart in both our communities. ”
— Ray Hanania

News: Daily Northwestern May 23, 2007 (PDF)

WTTW Ch 11 Interview 1-19-07
Aaron Freeman and Ray Hanania appear on John Callaway’s “Friday Nights” program on WTTW Channel 11 Friday Jan. 19, 2007, 7:30 PM

New Wall Street Journal on Clean Comedy & Hanania mention
Naples Tribune Dec. 7, 2006
Charlotte Observer Dec. 5, 2006

UpFront Radio Interview 11-17-06 (MP3)

Hanania received the 2006 Best Ethnic Columnist Award from the New America Media for columns he wrote for This is an interview on UpFront Radio discusses the columns and the focus on the commonality of Arabs and Israelis, Jews and Palestinians. Audio only. 12 minutes in length. Broadcast in November 2006.

Ray Hanania is the most-written about Arab and Palestinian comedian in America today. His stand-up comedy act and Middle East satire have been featured by every national and most international media, including:

News Coverage: (sampling)
Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, NBC Nightly News, ABC Nightly News, Chicago Tribune, CNN, NaNa Israel TV, Channel 4 Israeli TV, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, Yedioth Ahronoth, Air America Radio, The Progressive Magazine, The Atlanta Jewish Times, The Wall Street Journal (twice), the New York Times, the Today Show, the Chicago Tribune, CNN Segment 7, WABC Radio New York, Michael Feldman’s Wha’d ya know? radio program, the Voice of America, FOX News, Hannity & Colmes, the Donahue Show, MSNBC News, ABC TV, ABC Online, CBS This Morning, WBUR Boston radio, WNYC New York radio, ABC TV’s 20/20, WBEZ/NPR radio, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Jim Bohannon Show, WLIE Radio NY, Curtis & Kuby MSNBC, Roe Conn & Garry Meier WLS Radio, Jack Hartford WLS Radio, and in more than 375 newspaper stories and more than 125 national radio & television interviews making him one of the most covered Arab American stand-up comedians in the country. …

Comedy Festivals: (Sampling)
The Winnipeg Comedy Festival (2008) (, the Chicago Comedy Festival (2002).

Comedy Performances: (Sampling)
American friends of SHALVA (NY), Amnesty International (Dublin, Ireland), Houston World Affair’s Council, KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue, B’nai Yehuda Beth Shalom Synagogue, LIMUD LA, , B’nai Brith College Campuses/Hillel College Campuses hosted by MASA-Israel Journeys; Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour at Spertus Jewish College (400 people); IPCT at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada (1,500 people); IPCT at Off-the-Wall Comedy Club in West Jerusalem; Ray Hanania at the Global Peace & Unity Conference in London; Israeli-Palestinian Comedy Tour (Haifa, Beershba, Tel Aviv, Ra’anana, West Jerusalem, East Jerusalem, Anglican School, Seeds of Peace, New Israel Fund, Ambassador East Hotel); Second City (Heeb Magazine), Northwest Indiana Islamic Center, Purdue University, American University of Beirut Alumni Association, Society of Professional Journalists 2006 Convention, American University of Dubai, USA; Northeastern University, Boston; Hillel/Arab Student Org, Emory College, Atlanta; Duke University/Friends of Israel/Freeman Center, Raleigh-Durham, NC; Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago; US Consulate, Jerusalem; PYALARA, Palestine; Truman College, Kirksville; Taste of Chicago 2004; Brandeis University; Marquette University; Loyola University; DePaul University; Northwestern University; Oregon Library Association; Northwestern Christian College; University of Missouri, KC; Zanies Comedy Clubs (Chicago & St. Charles); Riddles Comedy Club, Orland Park; The Chicago ComedyFest; Barrel of Laughs; Caroline’s on Broadway, New York; The New York Comedy Club; The Comedy Spot; ASACA/ADC Detroit; Wayne State University; Seattle Arab Festival; Milwaukee Arab Festival; Dallas Film Festival; Americans for Peace Now (Hudson Theater); Seeds of Peace (Detroit); The University of Michigan; Cleveland AACCESS; Arab Community Center of Knoxville; National Society of Newspaper Columnists (Tucson); The University of Illinois YMCA Champaign; al-Khayam Show Lounge “Everyone Loves Abdullah” Chicago; the first-ever Arab ComedyFest in New York Nov. 2002.

University of Haifa, Israel; Northeastern University Boston, Duke University, IIT, Harvard University, Brandeis University, Emory College, University of Illinois, College of DuPage, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, DePaul University, Loyola, University of Chicago, Michigan Muslim Student Association, Harper College, Moraine Valley Community College, Independent Press Association, Community Media Workshop, Seattle Arab Community Center, Palestinian American Congress New York, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Society of Professional Journalists Chicago Headline Club …

NPR profile of Ray and Alison Hanania’s unique Arab-Jewish marriage     

  Listen to it?

Ray’s Comedy Demo Tape (April 2002)

“Jackie, Is that you?” comedy skit
(Read pre-Mason controversy interview?)

Atlanta Jewish Times Feb. 26, 2004 — Read it?

Newsweek Feature

Wall Street Journal Story

Why Arab American Comedy?

Ray Hanania’s Arab-Jewish comedy act is intended to promote peace and understanding through humor, stand-up comedy and political and social satire.

Arab-Jewish Comedy at it’s finest

View Promotional Flash Intro?

“It isn’t enough to have an Arab and a Jew on stage. We need to break the barriers that divide Palestinians and Jews. That’s why Ray Hanania’s comedy is so important. He brings Palestinians and Jews together … ”
— Rabbi David Steinberg

Hanania show structure and topics

I offer several performance structures:

Professional stand-up comedy: Original material written for performances at comedy clubs around the country. Feature Act (30 minutes) and Headliner (60 minutes)

One Man Show: A humorous introduction that puts the audience into the context of the Post-Sept. 11 world and the power of humor; 60 minutes of stand-up comedy and humor; concluding humor essay.

Titles: “Everyone loves Abdullah” … “One Palestinian, One Piece “


Ethnicity in America — the Arab/Muslim experience (60 % of material)
Palestinian-Jewish relations — based on my marriage (30 % of material)
Politics — commentary on everyday life experiences (5 % of material)
Miscellaneous topics — everything funny under the sun (5 % of material)

Though I am Orthodox Christian (one of the few Palestinian Christian professional comedians, humorists and writers in the country) I also speak to the issues facing Muslims in America, mainly because we share the same stereotype and experience. Most Americans view me and other “Arabs” — regardless of their religion — as Muslim, an error on their part that I am very proud to defend. Though I am a Christian, I am Muslim by culture.

As a Palestinian peace activist, I also use humor to help Palestinian, Jewish, Arab and Israeli audiences recognize the humanity that exists behind the tragic headlines we face in the Middle East conflict. My wife and son are Jewish and I understand the Jewish faith.

Ray Hanania’s comedy is based in a history of professional humor writing, beginning with his columns in the Chicago Sun-Times lampooning his experiences through airport security in the 1980s and 1990s, and his humor book, I’m Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing Up Arab in America. They also include humor columns written for publications like Newsweek Magazine (Nov. 1998) and the more.

Ray Hanania
A conspiracy of comedy …
Email Ray Hanania with your comments

Humor is what we need

As the events of the Middle East continue to spiral into worsening bloodshed and violence, and in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and destruction of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, we all need to take a break.  It’s not that we have to pretend the violence isn’t taking place. But we need to counter the tragedy. We also need to find new ways to break through the divisions that separate Arabs and Jews. seattleThe best way to do that is through humor. And, I’ve decided to turn to humor both as a self-healing medium to ease the personal trauma, but also as a way to soften the hatred that is consuming some in the American public.

My stand-up comedy routine doesn’t cross the line and I don’t make fun of religion. But, we Arab Americans need to soften our own image for Americans. We can’t expect them to shoulder the burden to better understand us. We have to do our part. And nothing is more effective in reaching the hearts and minds of Americans than humor.Many of the jokes address stereotypes that already exist about Arab Americans. For example, I jest about Berqas (complete head-to-toe clothing covering for women) and also Honor Killings, a practice common in many countries including the Arab World. I ridicule these because they are wrong and are not sacred.The humor is intended to soften that view, to take the edge off of the hatred as a means of breaking down hatred, negative stereotypes, misunderstanding, but more importantly, to show the American people that we, Arab Americans, have a sense of humor. We are not fanatics who live for murder and killing, but people who are like you and me. We are no different.I HAVE TWO ROLE MODELS:One of my role models is Jerry Seinfeld, who is a Jewish-Arab comedian. His mother is from a Jewish family from Damascus, Syria and grew up in the Syrian Jewish community in Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. After the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, Seinfeld did several comedy appearances to help raise nearly $1.9 million for Mayor Guiliani’s Twin Tower’s Fund. In his biography, Seinfeld notes “It (comedy) identifies us as Americans … what I would call classic American behavior, an act of defiance and a way of striking back. Ironic humor … people coming back with a vengeance, returning to our lives with great glee.” Additionally, Seinfeld flopped on his first stand-up .. but went on to great things … another comedian I admire is David Brenner who I once interviewed as a reporter writing the celebrity column for the Chicago Sun-Times “Page 10.”My second role is Danny Thomas. As a child, I remember our family scheduling a gathering in front of the TV to watch Danny Thomas, the only Arab American on television in the 50s and 60s. He was a tremendous role model. His humor was clean, funny and despite being restricted by the times, he still managed to inject Arab American issues. The character of his Uncle Tannous always prompted a healthy laugh.All my jokes are original, written by me. They are delivered respectfully, but without inhibition. The jokes I say in jest are now said in anger and are harmful in a far greater way than the humor I offer. I figure, maybe if an American sees me laughing at a stereotype about Arabs, they might laugh too, and the stereotype might not be as important to them as it was. If I laugh about it, why not them too?I will update this page regularly with information on dates and locations for my stand-up comedy performances, and will also post related articles and columns for your enjoyment.Humor, by itself, is not the answer. But, it can make a difference for many Americans on how they view Arab Americans, Arab culture and even Arab causes. We need to present ourselves as something other than politically emotional Arab terrorists.Nothing can make a person cry more, than humor!

(Ray Hanania is a veteran journalist, media consultant and a leader in Chicago’s Arab American community.)


Boston NPR Radio, Fri. Sept. 27, 2002
Listen to the Interview?
Ray Hanania performing at Zanies Comedy Club, Chicago, 1548 N. Wells Street,
April 11, 2002
WGN TV Interview Friday Morning, April 12, 2002View video?


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