Negin Farsad: How to Make White People Laugh

FRI, JUN 3, 2016 (41:05)

Negin Farsad is an Iranian-American-Muslim female stand-up comedian who believes she can change the world through jokes. And yes, sometimes that includes fart jokes. Discussing her candid and uproarious memoir, How to Make White People Laugh (2016), Farsad shares her personal experiences growing up as the “other” in an American culture that has no time for nuance. In fact, she longed to be black and/or Mexican at various points of her youth, you know, like normal kids. (Right? RIGHT?) Writing bluntly and hilariously about the elements of race we are often too politically correct to discuss, Farsad takes a long hard look at the iconography that still shapes our concepts of “black,” “white,” and “Muslim” today - and what it means when white culture defines the culture. She asks the important questions: What does it mean to have a hyphenated identity? How can we actually combat racism, stereotyping, and exclusion? Do Iranians get bunions at a higher rate than other ethnic groups? (She’s asking for a friend.) In How to Make White People Laugh, Farsad tackles these questions with wit, humor, and incisive intellect. Along the way, she just might teach readers a thing or two about tetherball, Duck Dynasty, and wine slushies. (Photo: Flickr/TED Conference, image cropped)

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Negin Farsad is an American comedian, actor, writer, and filmmaker of Iranian descent, based in New York City. Like most comedians, she has a master’s degree in African-American studies. She was named one of the 53 Funniest Women by the _Huffington Post_ and one of 10 Feminist Comedians to Watch by _Paper_ magazine, and was selected as a TEDFellow for her work in social justice comedy. Farsad has written for and appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, PBS, IFC, Nickelodeon, and others. She is director and producer of the feature films _Nerdcore Rising_ (2008), starring Weird Al Yankovic, and _The Muslims Are Coming!_ (2013), starring Jon Stewart, David Cross, and Lewis Black (both available on Netflix).

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