Meet comedian Mohammed Tarek who started out as a YouTuber in 2017 and is mostly famous for his Egyptian/English accent, the close-ups and funny faces he makes. He reached 323, 327 subscribers and 7,400,752 views on Youtube and is now doing standup comedy! We had a little chat with Tarek at Darb 1718 right before his first standup comedy show to ask him a few questions about how his love for comedy started and where he gets his ideas.
CWP: Have you always had a thing in comedy or was it something else?
I was born laughing! What really sparked my love for comedy was the difference you can make with it. One time my sister was crying really hard and I started making faces, going cross-eyed, until it made her laugh. That’s when I decided this is what I want to do, I love making people laugh.
Where do your ideas come from?
I usually sit and remember stuff that happens to me daily and I write it down on my phone then go make a video of it. I don’t really write structured scripts.
How much time does it take to prepare a piece?
This is my first stand-up comedy and it took me three months to prepare because I was scared, but hopefully after I gain experience it will be much easier and faster.
What do you work toward in your free time?
I study dentistry and I make videos … maybe I’m working towards an early career shift! But I really like dentistry and it’s the main thing so comedy is what I do in my free time.
I think it’s very good! As Egyptians, we do have talent but we’re too afraid to look silly on camera … but I think it’s fine, you can be whatever you want! I think we’re heading towards a good future for comedy and shenanigans in Egypt.
What is society’s perspective of this position?
Egyptians like laughing, the whole world does too, no one really likes to feel sad so when we joke or laugh or find someone who’s capable of making others laugh. People are not going to hate that; they’re going to respect it.
Have you made any money out of your comedy yet?
Yes! YouTube pays good money! Whenever you can’t find work or you need some money, turn on your camera and do anything! You’ll be getting paid in dollars, my friend!
What do you think you’ve become known for?
When I first started, I used to play a character called Norhan the Fashionista. She mocked all the new fashionistas and would pretend like she knew what she was doing when she actually did not. I then played a character called Egyptian guy who didn’t care about what people think and would talk in the Egyptian-English accent … which we should all be very proud of by the way! People loved this character and related to it, so that’s what made me well-known.
Is there any material you think is off limits?
I think we’re all done talking about politics and religion, so it’s better we talk about ridiculous things and move away from more serious issues. Just laugh a little, even just 5 minutes a day, and life will be much better!
American comedians Kristen Wig and Steve Carell – if you don’t know him then you need help! As for Egyptian comedians, Ahmed Helmy is my favorite actor in the entire world and it’s my dream to work with him some day. Helmy, if you read this, please take me with you in any movie even if my scene is in the bathroom, I don’t care!