A critic described actor/comedian Maz Jobrani's memoir as ''laugh-out-loud funny'' and that will come as no surprise to the audience that, indeed, laughed out loud repeatedly at his 2014 World Affairs Council comedy concert.
Jobrani makes a return visit to the Council and Dallas City Performance Hall to discuss his life and his biography, titled I'm Not a Terrorist, But I've Played One on TV: Memoirs of a Middle Eastern Funny Man.
The book goes beyond the life of a comedian, however. A review in The New York Times said Jobrani's biography''has plenty to say about matters of race, assimilation, life in America for brown-skinned people before and after 9/11, and making it in big, dumb, fizzy, sometimes beautiful America.''
The publisher describes the biography as ''a hilarious and moving memoir of growing up Iranian in America, and the quest to make it in Hollywood without having to wear a turban, tote a bomb or get kicked in the face by Chuck Norris.'' (Longtime martial arts specialist Norris, as many Council members may recall, filmed his hit TV show Walker: Texas Ranger in Dallas from 1993 to 2001.)
In 2002, Jobrani had a minor role in the Norris TV film The President's Man: A Line in the Sand, also filmed in Dallas. Jobrani recalls that he tried to put some humanity in his role of ''terrorist,'' explaining, “I dug deep to understand how my character had developed up until the point that Chuck Norris would kick him in the face.” He hated the film, made just before 9/11 and released just after.
Jobrani's work has included many film and TV appearances in addition to a renowned career as the ''International Stand-up Comedian.'' He was an organizer and key player in the ''Axis of Evil Comedy Tour'' featuring four comedians with Middle Eastern roots.
His biography mentions that he dropped out of a Ph.D. program at Berkeley to go into show business. He recalls a special moment in his career. "When I told my parents I wanted to be an actor, my mom was, like, 'I think I heard you say lawyer'."