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Non-Threatening Behavior

Comic Ahmed Ahmed made news a couple years ago when one of his jokes prompted an audience member to report a terrorist threat. On Tuesday Ahmed returns to the scene of the alleged crime.

by Chuck king
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DELRAY BEACH – Ahmed Ahmed is ready to return to what at least one person thought was the scene of a crime.

In May of 2019, as part of his act, the Egyptian-born Ahmed incorporated a joke that, in effect, noted that it only takes one Muslim terrorist to ruin a day.

That rather benign joke went a little too far for one audience member, prompting that person to go even further – calling the cops to report a potential terrorist threat.

Local newspapers, and eventually national media, picked up the story, elevating Ahmed’s already considerable name recognition to another level.

“I literally got my 15 minutes of fame,” said Ahmed, who was never charged with, well, anything.

No worse for wear, Ahmed launched a week of South Florida shows on Monday with a performance at Delray Beach’s Tin Roof. On Tuesday he returns to Off The Hook Comedy Club in Naples – the club that was the scene of the imagined crime.

In Naples, Ahmed may meet with some unexpected friends. The operator who fielded the complaint, a woman named Barbara, reached out to him shortly after the incident to let Ahmed know how ridiculous she felt having to take that complaint.

A quick analysis of the information offered by the complainer while filing the complaint allowed Ahmed to deduce that person’s identity. Ahmed is now Facebook friends with that person – though he still hasn’t told the man why they are friends.

“He accepted and sent me this long message like, How do I know you?” Ahmed said.

When two police offers followed through on the complaint and interviewed Ahmed, he recorded the interview and posted it on social media. Like most who hear the story, the officers couldn’t believe anyone actually found something sinister masquerading within a comedy act.

Ahmed told the officers he would have to recount the incident to his act, and true to his word the story appeared early in Ahmed’s headlining set at Tin Roof.

It almost certainly will be a topic of discussion on Tuesday in Naples.

Ahmed performs at the Miami Improv on Wednesday night. He concludes the South Florida swing on Thursday with a free show at Boca Raton’s Biergarten.

APPLAUSE BREAK-DOWN

VENUE: Tin Roof, Delray Beach (March 22, 2021)

LINEUP
Robb Kalert (Host)
Dougie Almeida (Guest)
Jason Rogers (Feature)
Flip Schultz (Special Guest)
Jimmy Shubert (Special Guest)
Ahmed Ahmed (Headliner)

BE OUR GUEST
In Delray for a couple of days before heading back to the northeast for a set of shows, Shubert, and his rapid-fire delivery, proved to be a hard act to follow. As Shubert left the stage Ahmed said the veteran comic offered the following advice for dealing with what was at times a distracted bar crowd: “He said, you better machine gun that crowd.” Fortunately, the police were not called. …In what may have been an impromptu addition to his act, Schultz showed, in his words and tune, why there are no Jewish blues singers. …Rogers has a latex allergy, which works to his advantage on stage. …Almeida demonstrated why no one should ever purchase a stripper via Groupon. …As part of his hosting duties Kalert pulled a chair onto the stage so he could demonstrate proper ways to sit – and how not to sit.

WORKING THE ROOM
A mixed racial couple on a date sat infront of the stage, giving all the comics fodder for their crowd work. Schultz in particular offered some interesting dating advice.

COMICS’ TABLE
The large group of local comics who enjoyed the show included Nadeem Awad, David Sadman, Bruce Smirnoff, Fasil Malik, Jackie Sanchez, Zach Bugarin and Steve Lamm. …Awad, Bugarin and Sadman will join Ahmed and Rogers on stage at the Biergarten on Thursday. …Lamm joins Awad and Sadman on Wednesday for the Sadman Speakeasy show with co-headliners Smirnoff, Richie Minervini and Carl Rimi. …Schultz headlines Wednesday’s Live Laugh Laugh show at the Palm Beach Improv. …Sanchez’s All Jacked Up show at the PB Improv on April 7 boasts Shubert as the headliner.

ONE LINER
“It was an aggressive room. When people don’t pay for comedy they feel expectant and entitled. You’ve got to grab them.” – Ahmed

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