RIYADH: When the opportunity presented itself, Arab comedian Muhsin Yesilada, who goes by the “Camel King,” bought a ticket to Riyadh to join Maher Matta, Adam Bloom, and Rehman Akhtar for a stand-up comedy performance at Riyadh Laughs.
Riyadh Laughs is organized by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City at the Boulevard Riyadh City. Lasting until Nov. 11, the series of stand-up comedy shows takes place weekly, on Thursday and Friday nights.
The series features both local and international comedians who come together to bring laughter and create unforgettable memories for fans.
Yesilada, 27, said: “I anticipated that the audience might be a little (more) conservative than a typical British audience, However, I was pleasantly surprised with how liberal the audience is here.”
Comedian Yesilada is also pursuing a PhD in Islamophobia and extremism at the University of Bristol, while performing comedy shows mostly around England.
He has been doing comedy for two years, and his performance in Saudi Arabia is his first show abroad.
“The audience was very receptive. They love comedy, and laughter is universal, you know,” he said, describing the audience in Riyadh.
Yesilada has performed at several prominent comedy clubs in the UK, including Top Secret Comedy Club, the Glee Club, Big Belly Bar and Comedy Club London, and Backyard Comedy Club.
That’s the thing with comedy, you need to have a thick skin. You need to be mentally strong to get over (it). If you can’t get over (it), you don’t have a future in comedy.
Muhsin Yasilada, Comedian
“I also do some work on the South Asian/Middle Eastern and Muslim circuit. So, I do a lot of work for Desi Central, and Love Entertainment, which is an organization that organizes comedy shows for people from South Asian and Muslim backgrounds, which is great because then you can have an audience you can relate to and laugh together. Which is lovely,” he added.
Being a stand-up comedian is no easy gig. Yesilada recalled some of the experiences that toughened him up and helped him excel at comedy. One such experience was his first attempt at the “Gong Show” at the Top Secret Comedy Club. The show is a way for comedians to prove their readiness to perform live in front of an audience.
The comedian has to stay on stage for at least five minutes without three audience members putting cards up. If three cards go up, the comedian gets booed off.
Despite getting booed offstage during his first minute and a half, it did not hinder him from continuing to perform and sharpen his talent.
“I did the ‘Gong Show’ again. I went back, changed my jokes a lot, and then I won it the next month.
“That’s the thing with comedy, you need to have a thick skin. You need to be mentally strong to get over (it). If you can’t get over (it), you don’t have a future in comedy,” he explained.
Yasilada also has made a number of radio appearances on the BBC, talking about his stand-up comedy and research.
He was recognized on BBC Radio after reaching the finals at “The Student Comedy Award.” According to the comedian, BBC Radio, “in terms of culture and art, is the major radio station for theater and stand-up comedy.”
To keep up with the comedian, follow Yesilada on Instagram @muhsin_yesilada.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)