40 years old | Ali Jahangir thinks too popular spoils comedy – “Actually, I only talk about my own life at my gigs”

“Today, comedians are superstars selling full-size seats in the Hartwall Arena,” says Jahangiri.

Ali Jahangiri upload hard opinions right at the beginning of the interview.

“The position of stand up comedians has been raised too high. I would like the comedy to stay as separate as possible from anything extra, and not for individual comedians to elevate themselves above the audience. ”

Jahangir’s own popularity has risen from the first gig of the noise in 2004 and he is the first stand-up comedian to be awarded by the Uusimaa Foundation. He is especially known as a comedian who makes a stand up for the prejudices faced by immigrants.

“In the past, comedians were seen as a mirror of the people. Today, comedians are superstars selling full-size seats in the Hartwall Arena, ”Jahangiri explains.

For him, too much popularity can ruin comedy. There is, of course, a contradiction in that.

“The more followers and popularity there are, the more you want them. And the more popular it becomes, the more irrelevant it is because you no longer dare to take risks. ”

Because comedians have been valued to the unpredictable, all their sayings can be experienced as influencing Jahangir.

“But 99 percent of the comedians really just want to tell the lowercase jokes,” he says and bursts into a roaring laugh.

The cloak as an “immigrant comedian” is clearly weighty.

“Actually, I only talk about my own life at my gigs.”

Jahangir’s own goal is not the Hartwall Arena.

“Perhaps the goal would be to perform in countries where comedians have traditionally been censored, such as Iran or North Korea. For if I could perform in them, it would mean that there is finally freedom of speech in these countries as well. ”

Jahangiri became acquainted with the stand up for the first time at the age of eight in Iran. He just didn’t know what he was watching yet.

“In the late 1980s, VCRs were banned in Iran, but my father got to buy one. A videocassette tenant came home with videos in a large portfolio, a kind of roaming Taste. ”

The salesman gave little Ali a video that he praised as “a really popular thing in the Yankees”.

“I didn’t realize anything about it. There was just a guy speaking English in a red leather outfit. ”

When Jahangiri and his family came to Finland as refugees in 1991, he soon encountered the same phenomenon in TV series such as Def Comedy Jamin through. He understood that the person in the leather outfit who had spoken in the video had been Eddie Murphy.

“Admittedly, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that I heard it was a stand up.”

It survived Jahangir, who studied at the School of Economics, at an alumni meeting where a former student of the school, ToMi Walamies presented stand up.

Jahangiri realized that he wanted to do that too and in fact had already done all his life. In a school where the teacher thought it was a disturbance of lessons or at work where it was a boss’s view of neglect of work. Now the forum was right.

In 2016 Jahangiri and director Hamy Ramezan traveled with refugees from the Greek island of Lesbos across the Balkans to Finland. A documentary was shot on the way Unknown refugee. It won the domestic competition of the Tampere Film Festival 2016 in a series of more than 30-minute films.

An unknown refugee after my ego took over from me. I thought I was an influencer and when I did things, they had no effect at all. It was the first time I started to realize that people don’t follow me to change their minds, but to laugh. ”

Accepting the matter took a hard toll.

Then Jahangiri remembered what the late colleague Jope Ruonansuu he was told, “Remember that every comedian comes the moment when he wants to be taken seriously. Don’t let that moment go with you. ”

Jahangiri says he does not see himself as a creator of culture.

“Stand up is a form of culture, of course, but I feel that the people who come to watch gigs create that culture, not an individual comedian.”

During the Korona era, he has moved on to making online content.

“A lot of comedians don’t like to perform on camera alone without an audience, but I didn’t want to be the guy who takes everything from their audience when things are going well and rejects them in difficult times.”

Jahangir has been in the habit of making a five-year plan. As he forty drifts on the meter, he says he realizes that the comedian’s work can’t be done indefinitely. It’s time to think about the next moves.

“In the future, I would only go to perform when I was amused. The next move could then be something entrepreneurial. ”

As a birthday present for his audience, Jahangiri will release his new video Positive On Youtube on June 6th.

Ali Jahangiri

  • Born 1981 in Tehran.

  • Graduated with a master’s degree in economics from Aalto University in 2012.

  • Performed as a stand up comedian since 2004.

  • Worked at Trainers’ House as a project manager 2007–2012.

  • Produced events in his own production company since 2011.

  • He hosted the TV series Viidakko’s sights 2012 and 2013, Yle Puhe’s radio program Ali and Husu 2013–2016 and his own talk show Ali Show 2013–2016.

  • Lives in Vantaa, the family includes a wife and three small children.

  • Turns 40 years old on Sunday, June 6th.




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