Archive Sections: letters | music | index | features | photos | arts/lit | satire Find Iranian singles today!


September 17, 2003

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Page 4

* We laugh at others. Why not ourselves?

It is interesting - not to mention hypocritical - that we can laugh at the jokes at the expense of Latinos (Georrge Lopez Show) , African Americans (Jeffersons) , homosexuals (Will and Grace) and other minorties, but when it comes to Iranians we want sitcoms to be seminars in cutlural sensitivty and instruments of mass education [Funny... and insulting].

I found WHOOPI entertaining and Mr. Djalili quite good. He is not responsible to make a change in public opinion about iranians, leave him alone. Enjoy the show, dont make it into a instrument of political correctness beacause then we all will lose.

BTW, we iranians do eat sheeps head, don't we? So why get upset about it when mentioned or try to mask it?

Ramin Tabib


* Turning funny artist into bumbling fool

Bruce Bahmani eloquently expressed how i felt when i realized an Iranian would be on a primetime sitcom [Funny... and insulting]. I also wanted to write my opinion about the show, but Bruce beat me to it.

I felt a certain pride seeing the name of Omid Djalili right up there with Whoopi Goldberg and being broadcast to millions of homes in the US. I kept on hoping that the writers wouldn't turn this talented and funny artist into a bumbling fool (which i think they didn't thank God) and also hoped that they wouldn't have too many terrorist jokes, which unfortunately they did.

Even though Omid wasn't forced to wear clothing that is stereotypically Middle Eastern in an Ali Baba-ish way (he even quite often wears a nice beret in the show, which I thought is a good touch), they did pepper most of his dialogues with what I felt was too much inuendos about terrorists, Persian hating Arabs, talk of Saddam, Iranian military, and a bunch of other stereotypical statements.

I congratulate Omid and wish him the utmost success in this new sitcom; however, I also wish that the producers would back off these type of jokes in the next few shows, and this doesn't become a repetitive theme for some cheap laughs. That's because I feel most of us that now live in the US strive to inform those we come into contact with on a daily basis about Iran, our Persian heritage, and its richness, and these kind of stereotypical one-liners can after a while have a detrimental effect by making the uninformed about Iran (who only get their knowledge of other cultures from what they see on TV), to see all Iranians as Omid's TV character, and I'm sure there are at least some of us that dont want that.

When Tony Shaloub played the airplane mechanic on Wings, or Andy Kaufmann played the auto mechanic Latka on Taxi, they were foreign, sounded foreign (and funny) but you never really knew where they were from. A few more episodes of Whoopi with the same kind of one liners about Iran, terrorism, etc. and I will have wished this mechanic/concierge (Naseem) would have also been from the same TV-country Latka came from instead.

Sepehr Haddad


* Funny breaks down stereotypes

I enjoyed the article about "Whoopi" by Bruce Bahmani [Funny... and insulting]. As a non-Iranian, I was curious what the reaction would be in the Persian community. 
A few questionable jokes aside, this character is a positive thing, especially when in the capable hands of such a talented comedic actor like Omid Djalili. Keep in mind what a powerful force for change TV can be in the States.

Except for the news, the last Iranian most Americans have seen on TV was probably in "Not Without My Daughter". Now, millions of Americans have a new image of Iranians: they're funny! And funny is good. Funny isn't scary. Funny breaks down stereotypes and promotes understanding.
I saw a repeat of the show on Sept. 11. We're airing shows with terrorism jokes on Sept. 11! And I laughed! It boggles my mind.
Fiona O'Connor


* Common delusion that we are different

Dear Bruce Khan,

I enjoyed reading your commentary in [Funny... and insulting].  Although, the most important thing to remember about the show is that It is just a comedy.  It is not a treatise on the ancient and glorious etc... culture of Iran!  It also makes fun of every group.  

White, black, ethnic and American.  Any comedy, by nature, has to be based to some extent on stereotypes or it won't be funny.  You have to remember that the show had a lot of jokes about blacks as well, and Whoopi herself is obviously black!  

I admit that some of the Persian jokes were funnier than others, but at least the show portrays an Iranian as a human being and not some exotic ogre.  By the way, where did you get the idea that most Iranians are educated technocrats.  Like any other country, we have all kinds of citizens from all kinds of background.  

Please tell me that you don't suffer from the common Iranian delusion that we are different, better and smarter than the rest of humanity, and the current predicament our poor country is in is due only to a cruel twist of fate and not the fault of our own people!!

Navid Zahed


* Worst thing since "Not Without My Daughter"

Thanks for reviewing the new show for us. [Funny... and insulting] A lot of Iranians were excited about this show, including you and me. But deep inside I had a suspicion that in no possible way will a major media company in this country allow a remotely positive portrayal of an Iranian person!

The jokes and one liners are all designed to strenghten and re-iterate the American public's worst misconceptions and stereotypes about Iranians.

I hope this show bombs and goes off the air very, very quickly which I strongly suspect it will, because I can imagine that your average American will actually be uncomfortable and annoyed watching this guy go to town. I hope I'm right because the sooner this thing goes away, the less damage will be done.

It's the worst thing that has happened to us on the screen since "Not Without My Daughter"!

Ben Bagheri


* Terrible writing, poor analysis

Please somebody help this guy with his writing and edit this piece [Funny... and insulting]. It is terrible writing with horrible grammer.. His analysis is just as poor.

I think this could damage the credibility of your site.

The other pieces on your site are so good. How the hell is this guy on there?



* Watch and tell

My husband and I watched the very first episode of "Whoopi" and I cannot tell you in words how overjoyed we were. To think that one of 'us' is on a show on a majore television network bring a big smile to my face.

Not only is Omid Djalili halariouse but he is educating millions of Americans who don't know the difference between Iran and Iraq as Alan Jackson, who is one of the most well known country singers puts it in one his songs.

I advise every Iranian to watch the show and tell as many people as they can to watch the show, because often times new shows that are introdcued at the beginning of the TV season are cancelled because of low ratings.

Perhpas you can add this link to your web site about Omid.

Golnaz Mokri


* I recommend this show

I watched  "Whoopi" last night on NBC at 8:00 pm EST.I laughed watching it last night and continued to laugh remembering the scenes and dialogs today! Can't take Omid Djalili's facial expression out of my mind when the salesperson in the store told him "....You Arabs...." !!

Nasim (the name of Omid Djalili's character) is a sweet Iranian (Persian) who works as a handyman in Whoopi's Hotel.Hats off to you Omid! Good job and good luck!Whoopi Goldberg is great too. I recommend this show on Tuesday nights to every one!

Sepideh Banihashemi


* Teaching Americans about Persians

Woopi is such a nice, funny show. I like it a lot, because it's political and teaches some stuff about Persians to Americans.

Yashar Zhalehdoust


* Aftabeh to shilang

In his too-many worded "article" [From aftabeh to Mars], Mr. Ashtiani has described the use of "Aftabeh" by Iranians. Thank you Mr. Ashtiani, for I think many of the readers are now well-educated in how we Iranians use Aftabeh. Except, somebody forgot to tell Mr. Ashtiani (who I believe is about two or three decades behind the "Aftabeh" case) that even in a remote village in Zahedan or Qom, the public bathrooms contain "shilang."

So, in Mr. Ashtiani's amazement, the Iranians have actually broken their "Aftabeh Oath" and created something more advanced than Aftabeh.

Second point is that, if I bash myself as an Iranian, I bash all Iranians. So, how dare you Mr. Ashtiani?? You may still be using an Aftabeh, but the rest of us are sticking to "shilang."

S. Hesam H.


* Civil, not vengeful

In response to Deev's Persian rap song "Dastaa Baalaa"

Morteza Negahi


More letters (September 17, 2003)
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4

All past letters

By subject
September 17, 2003

Omid Djalil on "Whoopi"
* Laughing at ourselves?
* Turning funny into fool
* Breaking stereotypes
* Common delusion
* Worst since...
* Terrible writing
* Watch and tell
* I recommend this show
* Teaching Americans
Protest song
* Civil, not vengeful
Mossadegh & Shah
* No political development
* Constituional Monarchist
* Chains and knives
* Executed: regime change
* Far off base
* "Wrong" side of the history
* Igoring other scenario
* Scrutinize Mossadegh
* Truth comes out
* Totally agree
* Mordeh parasti basseh!

Tudeh & Fadiyan
* Stalin lover no democrat
* Questionable leaders
* One more terrorist
* Aftabeh to shilang
* Organized religion, no
* Flee IRI or Islam?
* Open your heart & mind
* It's all ignorance
* If Bush cleans our house
* Iran can stop invaders
Arabs & Iranians
* Pleasinng Arab friends
* Something has to be done
Reza Beyk Imanverdi
* Our Charles Bronson
Farjami's poetry
* From Pakistan, with love
Nemati's articles
* Believe in ourselves
* What does dad think?
* Unity not with hormones
* Searching for spouses
The weak
* Deserve their fate
* Pre-1979 home movies
Too sexy
* Take it out, please
* Raised royal
* Pased away
* Manijeh?
* Go nuclear!


Copyright 1995-2013, Iranian LLC.   |    User Agreement and Privacy Policy   |    Rights and Permissions