“How many people here in the audience are Muslim?” Obeidallah asked at the beginning of the show, looking out at an audience sprinkled with hijabis and men in conservative dress.
As hands began to rise, the comic offered a warning. “Little tip: When Trump is president, when someone asks, ‘Where are the Muslims?’ Don’t raise your hands.”
Four days before showtime, “The Big Brown Comedy Hour” had sold out. “That never happens,” organizer Dean Obeidallah told the crowd at Comic Strip Live, a venerable club in Manhattan. “We’re pretty sure Homeland Security bought a block of tickets.”
Like many of the night’s quips, rants, impressions and wisecracks, it was both a joke — and serious. It was comedy as an “act of resistance,” said Obeidallah, a way of empowering Muslims and racial minorities to talk back to the incoming powers that be. Namely, Donald Trump.
“People need to laugh,” Obeidallah said, “if only to keep from crying.”
The night ended on a hopeful note. The “Big Brown Comedy Hour” plans to host another show March 5. Its name: “Still Laughing Until Trump Deports Us.”