A comedian of Mexican origin and another from India share a scene in Chicago betting on acid humor to address politics in the United States and the harsh reality faced by immigrants, especially Latinos and Muslims, the focus of President Donald Trump’s policies.
The show, “Two Types of Chicago,” exploits the cultural differences of its two protagonists, Jaime de León and Azhar Usman, who met in nightclubs Stand-Up Comedy (live comedy), and broadcast to the public the so-called ” comedy of resistance “.
“I talk about my personal life, my family, my neighborhood La Villita (in Chicago), Mexicanness and the political and social problems faced by Latino immigrants (in the US),” Leon told Efe.
Son of Mexican immigrants, born and raised in Chicago, Leon began his career in a bar in the neighborhood of Pilsen on a night of “open microphone”, where the only spectators were about twenty friends.
“My only intention was to tell the crazy things that had happened to me during a trip to South America, and that night I realized that racial, cultural, political and economic problems could also make me laugh,” he said.
In the repertoire of the comedian are also present the tweets and the continuous attacks of President Trump against Mexico and the immigrants, in particular his “message of division”, which in the opinion of the comedian “tries to impose a wall to separate two brother countries” .
“Trump speaks of the wall, and we of bridges, because nobody can divide us, nor follow the president of the United States,” he said.
In the Stand-Up Comedy scene, León is profiled as one of the country’s most promising comedians and has shared presentations with famous figures such as Paul Rodriguez or the Latin Kings of Comedy in California at the famous Hollywood Laugh Factory.
His fellow Usman, a bulky, menacing-looking man with a bald, long black beard, is a comedian, actor, and producer from Chicago named by CNN as “America’s Funniest Muslim” and ranked by Georgetown University “among the top 500 Muslims influential of the world”.
In her presentations explodes her appearance and the fact that perhaps people are not accustomed “to see a person like me (a Muslim) smile,” unless “he is a Uber chauffeur.”
Born of a family of immigrants from India in the suburb of Skokie, north of Chicago, “where many Jews live,” Usman says, he often has problems with the police who distrusts his origin and asks him over and over again where he is from and why he speaks English so well, without an accent.
“In the United States, if you are not white or black, they insistently ask you where you are, confusing ethnic origin with nationality,” he says in one of his routines.
“It’s hard to be me, an American Muslim who does comedy and travels around the country, nervous people around me at airports, who looks at me with suspicion and imagines that with my face I can only be a member of the Islamic State “he adds.
In his introductions, Usman also does not cover Trump who became his favorite target because, he says, he has become “the white Martin Luther King Jr.”.
“We are witnessing the birth of a new dawn in the United States, the birth of the white civil rights movement led by its great leader Donald Trump,” he jokes.
Usman has traveled with comedy for more than 20 countries, in five continents, and is currently in Mexico next to León where they will perform in the cities of León, Querétaro and the Mexican capital.
The shows will be free, and in Leon they will offer a comedy workshop for Tecnológico de Monterrey students and give a presentation for the inmates of the Social Readaptation Center.
In Mexico City, it is very possible that they must change the scene of the September 30 show, affected by the recent earthquake, to take them to the shelters housing the victims, where “some comedy is needed to occupy the mind.”