September 17, 2003
* 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...
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
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?
* 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
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.
* 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.
* Common delusion that we are different
Dear Bruce Khan,
I enjoyed reading your commentary in iranian.com [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!!
* 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"!
* Terrible writing, poor analysis
Please somebody help this guy with his
writing and edit this piece [Funny...
It is terrible writing with horrible grammer.. His analysis is just
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
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
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.
* I recommend this
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
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!
* Teaching Americans about
Woopi is such a nice, funny show.
I like it a lot, because it's political and teaches some stuff about
* 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
letters (September 17, 2003)