We may find ourselves in last place all too often (or first where we don’t want to be), but this fall Egypt has a chance to save face in an unusual way, and our fate rests in the hands of a skinny twenty-something with a penchant for making people laugh: Hashem El Garhy.
You probably know the name, since Garhy founded Egypt’s own barrel of laughs, Al Hezb El Comedy. Now, he’s competing on behalf of his motherland for the title of Funniest Person in the World, which will be bestowed by Laugh Factory. The title isn’t just a name: the grand prize for the competition is a (paid) national US comedy tour, meaning Garhy could bring his Egypt-centric stand-up routine to a whole new audience. Oh, and he’d get $100,000.
This year, 89 participants from 56 countries around the world are competing for the grand finale, which will take place in Finland Dec. 4-10. You can help Garhy succeed in his mission to bring ‘peace through laughter’ by visiting the Laugh Factory website here and submitting your vote. And no, that’s really not as much of a stretch as it may seem. “Laughter brings people closer, succeeding where diplomacy and democracy have failed. It is a universal language,” the organization says on its website. “This event highlights an alternative ambassador — the kind that brings diplomacy through a belly laugh.”
Plus, let’s be honest, is there really anything that defines Egyptians more than our ridiculous sense of humor?! In the meantime, if you’re in the UK, you should definitely check out his show next month at Leciester Square Theatre, ‘5 Egyptians, a Pakistani, an Indian and a Jew,’ where he’ll be joined on stage by some of our local faves as well as UK locals. He’ll also be performing in London earlier in October, as part of the 8th ‘Arabs Are Not Funny!’
WE SAID THIS: You can watch Garhy’s routine and cheer along here!