Maz Jobrani is best known as a founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, which featured some of the top Middle Eastern-American comics in the world. "The Axis of Evil Comedy Central Special" premiered in 2007 as the first show on American TV with an all Middle Eastern/American cast. The DVD was also released in 2007. The tour started in the U.S. and later went to the Middle East in the fall of 2007, selling out 27 shows in Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Kuwait and Amman (where they performed in front of the King and Queen of Jordan.) Maz followed up his Axis of Evil Tour with his own solo tour titled “Maz Jobrani; Brown and Friendly”, which again took him all over the world including the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. The “Brown and Friendly” Comedy Special premiered on Showtime in the Fall of 2009 and is now out on DVD at www.MazJobrani.com, iTtunes and Amazon.com. Maz is currently on his second solo tour titled “Browner and Friendlier.”
In movies Maz starred in the role of “Moly” in Ice Cube’s “Friday After Next.” He also played Secret Service Agent “Mo” in the Sydney Pollack thriller “The Interpreter,” opposite Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman as well as Jennifer Garner’s colleague, Glenn, in “13 Going on 30.” In television he most recently guest starred on FOX’s “Traffic Light” and NBC’s “Perfect Couples.” In 2010 he shot a pilot directed by Barry Sonnenfeld for ABC titled “Funny in Farsi” and recurred on ABC’s “Better off Ted.” He has been a regular on ABC’s “Knights of Prosperity” as well as FOX’s “Life on a Stick.” He has also Guest Starred on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “The West Wing”, “24”, “NYPD Blue”, “ER” and much more.
In 2008 Maz sold a TV show to CBS based on his life as an Iranian-American in the United States. The show was best described as a Middle Eastern “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He is also preparing to shoot a film titled “Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero” – a cross between a Middle Eastern “Pink Panther” and “Bend it Like Beckham.” (Jimmy can be seen at www.jimmyvestvood.com).
Maz has done standup on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Lopez Tonight,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,“ Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” and England’s Paramount 2 Network. He is also a recurring panelist on NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” and has his own podcast with 2 other comedians called “Minivan Men.” His sketch comedy performances at the ACME Theater in Los Angeles were hailed as “devilishly funny” and “extraordinary” by LA Weekly.
Maz was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he caught the acting bug after portraying the lead in his eighth grade production of “Li’l Abner.” He studied theater throughout high school, and then went on to earn a BA in Political Science and Italian at UC Berkeley. In the fall of 1994, while beginning a Ph.D. program in Political Science at UCLA, he visited the university’s prestigious theater program – and was immediately hooked back on acting. This led to him dropping out of the Ph.D. program to pursue his childhood passion.
When was the last time you saw a hero of Middle Eastern descent in an American film or TV show? I know, I can't think of one either (Okay, maybe the Prince of Persia but even then they got Jake Gyllenhaal to play the part -- granted he did let...