“Sammy, what are your goals for 2016?” they ask (“they” being my parents, after a long talk about cutting me off their Sprint plan). I’m a millennial, and thus better than them, so I can respond calmly with a deeper, spiritual question: “Mom, dad…why must we always focus on goals, i.e. what we could have in the future, when we can focus on what we have right now, which for me is… 2k in savings and my recent investment in a WORLD CLASS JEWISH INTERN WORKING FOR ME IN ISRAEL RIGHT NOW AND HIS NAME IS URI ISH-SHALOM!”
The door slams in my face, as my parents kick me out, noting that what I said was not spiritual, nor a question. Do they think I’m joking, or can they not see my sincerity like my trusted blog readers (who look very sexy today, might I add?) can. Okay, so we all know the hacky joke that having a Jewish manager/agent is the key success in Hollywood. Sure, it’s true, and I have one (I don’t even think there are any non-Jewish ones, and if there were I wouldn’t trust them with my assets), but again, let me ask another more important, spiritual question: I AM THE FIRST ARAB AMERICAN COMEDIAN TO HIRE AN ISRAELI INTERN AND HIS NAME IS URI ISH-SHALOM! HASHTAG PROGRESS.
Sorry for ALL CAPS, but the point I illustrate is that in 2016, I’m capitalizing. Not like in the money sense, because I haven’t made money on this investment yet, but in the sense of bridging a very important cultural gap that I am associated with by blood and dietary preferences (I love falafel!). Unlike a lot of (most) Arabs (actually all but me), I love the Jews, in fact…Jewish is my most favorite religion, since it’s the only religion that never tries to recruit me. The Jehovas knock on my door, Mormons bike up to my porch all smug and perfect, Scientologists chase me down the street (with their eyes), while the Jews are just like “Umm yea, we’re the chosen ones, we’re not taking applications right now. Maybe cut off part of your dick and get in line?”
Now, I’m aware that I could lose some of my Arab following from this news. In fact, this might be my most controversial blog ever, and I have written about possibly having AIDS. I’m not asking you to rehash over my history of masterpieces, but two years ago when my Jewish roommate and I posted our sketch about the Israeli Palestinian situation, I got pages of trolling comments on my Youtube channel, Jews and Arabs cursing at each other, and people from all over the world taking a side and using the appropriate racial slurs. For the last 5 decades, Israel/Palestine has been the world’s most divisive issue, undeniably the worst dinner conversation topic, leading your family to a fist fight before desert is served (though blood on ice cream is actually delicious, it looks like strawberry sauce but adds a savory kick!). You’ll have better luck keeping your family intact while discussing gun control’s effects on reproductive rights of transgenders who’ve been sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby. Side note, I still might have AIDS, I’m not sure.
But, ironically, Isreal/Palestine is the thing we NEED to talk about the most. The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, and has in some way influenced numerous acts of terror (including 9/11), the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS, and the overall turmoil in the Middle East (ya, shit just got isREAL). It’s the reason Iran is scary right now, and the reason the US shakes its taxpayers for $10 million a day in military aid to Israel (make that $10 million and 1 dollars a day because my soldier of an intern is gettin’ paid boy!). I often joke in my act that the ‘IP’ in ‘IP address’ stands for Israel Palestine, buecause all of the world’s problems are routed to it. About 5 people get it. But I still tell the joke, as it’s my Intellectual Property (IP).
And yea, that’s the problem, comedy audiences in the US don’t really care about this stuff (or do you? Wow, look at those gorgeous eyes you’ve got). So here’s my solution, take this movement overseas and hire a world class Israeli intern to promote my comedy in the holy land! “I don’t see the connection…what does your comedy have to do with making peace?” my skeptical American reader chimes in, as we can see his/her chiseled abs and perfect jawline. To whom, I say, stop worrying that pretty head of yours and SAY SHALOM TO MY MOST PRIZED INTERN URI ISH-SHALOM!
First of all, what a great guy. He’s spent 7 years of his life in Israel, but still an American citizen (I only support domestic; Trump 2016), so when he’s not working for me or earning his PR degree (yea I read resumes ;p), you might find him at the McDonald’s drive through, listening to all the Maroon 5 classics on repeat. Yes, Uri’s got the moves like Jagger, when it comes to helping me with online marketing, designing flyers, and exposing my Conan set to thousands of Israelis. Good thing I didn’t bomb, right?! (That joke never gets old. But it bombs).
Speaking of bombing, that’s actually how Uri and I met… he saw me eat shit at a college cafeteria in Milwaukee. I mean, their food was shit…I did ok, but I followed 3 rappers, who all the kids followed out of the room right before my set (ironically, it was Follow Friday). Only Uri and a few exchange students had the decency to watch what I had flown and driven 9 hours in the snow for. After the show, Uri complimented my puns, and I instantly realized he was one of ‘the good ones’. By ‘ones’, I mean aspiring comedians, because Uri is a budding, young funny man himself (no sane person would work for me). When he let me know he was moving to Israel, we quickly drew the mission statement to “combat racism and ignorance in the Middle East”. Fun fact, Uri’s last name ‘Ish-Shalom’ is Yiddish for ‘man of peace”. And mine, ‘Obeid’ is Arabic for ‘slave’, which is why I love interns! Match made in heaven (since Jews don’t believe in Hell). So far Uri has increased my Israeli fanbase from -7 to 986, and he’s put me on the radar of one of Israel’s most prominent comedians, Yohay Sponder, who was nice enough to provide a quote for the blog, in an authentic Israeli accent:
“As a comedian i see what Sammy doing, the way he speaks about he’s culture, about the conflict, it inspires me, and its smell like a better future, comedy is the best way of bring people together, and people like Sammy Obeid are always needed, the more the better, especially in the middle east”
SEE?! DO YOU SEE WHAT WE ARE DOING HERE, MOM AND DAD? Making the smells of peace for Israelis and Palestinians. And that smell is hummus.
So I guess do have goals for 2016…I want to be the first Lebanese/Palestinian American comedian to perform in Israel, also the first comedian to perform in North Korea (details coming soon), the first comedian to be happy (deferred goal for the last 8 years)…I want my blogs to have layers…I want peace in the Middle East, my Arab and Jewish fans to get along, and everyone in the world to follow Uri on IG: Ushymayne
And if that’s too much to ask, I just want to get back on my family’s Sprint plan.