Stand-up Amman

Back in January, Ahmad and I went to see Russell Peters perform live in Amman. I had previously seen him in Montreal and was a little disappointed by his set then because he performed for a very short while. In Amman, however, he came with three other fabulous comedians on his tour and altogether they performed for a whopping 2.5 hours! The show was sold out in days and held in a large theater, I assumed it was simply a one off.

So it seems Amman is surprising me in yet another way! On Saturday night, Ahmad and I attended a live show at Chaplin’s Comedy Club in Weibdeh, apparently the first comedy club in the Middle East! Hidden off Paris Circle in Weibdeh, Chaplin’s is a homey little place with a beautiful outdoor area in the summer and a spacious room set-up inside for live shows.

I knew open-mic nights were a regular staple down at Chaplin’s, but I didn’t know they had the pull to bring in international performers. So when I saw stand-up in English being offered at a relatively reasonable price (10 JD) I jumped at the chance. We sat down to watch a few clips of Angelo Tsarouchas before deciding he was funny enough to give him a chance.

Although Amman is still freezing at night (despite the fact that it’s mid-March), it was warm and toasty inside. Chaplin’s food and drink is nothing to write home about. In fact, when our order of chips and salsa came the portion of salsa was so small I exclaimed “hada li zaghlul?!” (“is this for a baby pigeon?!”) in broken Arabic before telling the waiter we would definitely need some refills – and refills they gave us, four or five times. The staff were very attentive and quick despite the full house. Unlike in North America, there was no pressure to drink or order a certain amount to enjoy the show. I sipped on my water and Ahmad smoked his ‘argileh and we enjoyed the show.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to film any elements of the show. Ahmad laughed uproariously though, and I now follow Chaplin’s on Facebook (where all promotions in Amman seem to be done) to make sure I don’t miss out on any fantastic future shows!

And because I don’t seem able to figure out how to embed videos here (if anyone knows, tell me), please enjoy this clip of Angelo performing earlier this year in the US.



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