Date of Birth : Sep 30th 1965
British Iranian stand-up comedian and actor.
Djalili was born in Chelsea, London to Bahá’í parents from Iran and is a Bahá’í himself. He attended the University of Ulster in Coleraine, studying English and Theatre studies.
The first significant success of his stand-up comedy career was at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1995 with “Short, Fat Kebab Shop Owner’s Son”, followed by “The Arab and the Jew” in 1996. He claimed to be the only Iranian comedian which, he said, was “three more than Germany” His stand-up routines and jokes focus primarily on multiculturalism and ethnic peculiarities. His hyperactive and energetic manner of imitating accents, undercutting political humour with absurd bellydances and singing has earned him a significant worldwide following.
He has performed in numerous countries, including Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Canada, Germany and the United States, where he had his own HBO Special and did 22 episodes of the NBC sitcom Whoopi with Whoopi Goldberg. Fans of his work include the Emir of Qatar, the late Robin Cook, and Bill Clinton. In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. He did his part for Comic Relief after the 2005 Indian Ocean earthquake and also in 2005 he appeared on the British TV show Top Gear as a celebrity driver. The same year he broke Edinburgh Festival box office records with over 16,500 ticket sales. His subsequent No Agenda tour was filmed on DVD scheduled for release in 2007.