Sultans of Satire: Finding humor in difficult times

Mona Shaikh performs during the Sultans of Satire stand-up comedy show. Photo by Megan Sweas.
Mona Shaikh performs during the Sultans of Satire stand-up comedy show. Photo by Megan Sweas.

Last month, French jihadists opened fire at the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two other locations in the Paris area, killing 17 people.

The incident sparked a debate about the importance of free speech and satire, and how Western society should address radical Islam.

Tonight at Harmony Gold on the Sunset Strip (ticket info here), several Muslim-American, Middle Eastern and Jewish comedians will take the stage to talk about Charlie Hebdo and other incidents in the news, in a special edition of the “Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief.”

Two of those comedians, Sammy Obeid and Mona Shaikh, told KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis how they skewer such sensitive topics in front of a live audience.