Adel Karam talks Netflix’s first arabic stand-up

“It’s not for kids”


Saudi Gazette

Lebanese stand up comedian and actor Adel Karam will become the first Arab comedian with a Netflix Original stand-up special, Adel Karam: Live From Beirut on March 1. The one of a kind comedy show is not intended for minors as the star insists on calling it “for adults only”.

“I am really happy and proud to be a part of it. Being the first Arab to be chosen for the task, I hope to inspire younger comedians and hope Netflix continues to use Arabic and chooses more aspirants from our society,” Karam told Saudi Gazette. He said the deal came about when his agency Creative Arab Talents got in touch with Netflix, who was looking for special stand up acts in Arabic. “They selected me because they had seen my work and loved mine,” he laughingly added. “I have done many other shows so they know I am outspoken and I can talk about topics others can’t discuss in my own style,” the 45-year-old actor added. Sometimes mistaken as controversial, Karam’s content embraces social norms and taboos with sarcastic humor in a conversational style. “Sometimes when others try and communicate it there’s a risk of them sounding vulgar but I know how to go about it in Arabic, which is difficult but maybe that’s also why Netflix liked my way.

I say things as they are and I discuss it like I would with my friends. This is how stand up comedy is supposed to be, we just aren’t used to it,” he explained. Karam believes so far Arabs had been trying it out in small groups but were not able to use it on a larger scale. With Netflix as a partner, he hopes to change it all around for the Arab world. “It is a great chance to perform on a bigger platform which we can present to all Arabs around the world since not every channel broadcasts it,” he told Saudi Gazette.

Karam said millions of Arabs who will now have access to his show on Netflix. “It is a great chance and we have to use it to introduce a new form of art,” he said.

Adel Karam has appeared in many prominent Lebanese movies such as Caramel directed by Nadine Labaki and lately, his Oscar-nominated film The Insult is now showing across cinemas theaters in the UAE.