The sort of comedian who gets away with it

Unorthodox humour: Omid Djalili
Unorthodox humour: Omid Djalili
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Omid Djalili

Tour of Duty

Victoria Theatre, Halifax

A packed theatre watched Omid Djalili deliver his own unorthodox brand of stand-up on Saturday night.

Born in London of Iranian immigrants, this popular comedian isn’t afraid to tackle controversial subjects: he ponders the validity of the SNP and Welsh Party as non-racist institutions and questions why the world spent ten years and £4bn searching for Bin Laden only to discover him in his own home.

Djalili also deals in the diabolical, telling of a visit to his GP with an extreme dose of Nigerianitis only to find that his doctor has it too. He talks about his cousin who, being half American and half Iranian, spends most of his waking hours trying to invade himself.

Omid remains much in demand as an actor and comedian. His latest project is a collaboration with his friend David Baddiel. It’s a film called The Infidel about a devout Muslim who discovers his biological parents are Hassidic Jews.

Both a comic and a clown, Djalili belly dances and belly flops onto the stage in a truly bizarre routine. But there’s much intellectual musing too with quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt and Woody Allen to get us thinking.

As an ethnic comic, Djalili can take risks with his material by tackling subjects many others wouldn’t. But it works for him partly because he rails at anyone and everyone and partly because he can.

Risqué stuff; Djalili sort of gets away with it – he’s that sort of comedian.

Simon Wilkinson