ENTERING the South African jungle – and mainstream Australia’s hearts – had an unexpected upside for Nazeem Hussain.
The Melbourne comedian of Islamic faith no longer has to win people over before cracking a political joke.
Hussain was one of four finalists last year in reality TV series I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Ahead of appearing, he had to prove his love and loyalty for his country before audiences accepted him.
“Now, people know where my heart is and they get my character and I don’t need to do all that disclaimer stuff – I can just get to the jokes,” Hussain said.
“People are not going to be suspicious of me, it saves me time telling jokes.
“They are on my side a little more – I never had that before.”
Hussain is bringing his new show, No Pain No Hussain, to the Perth Comedy Festival in May.
Pain was not involved in the making of the show, he just loves a good pun, as his comedy series Legally Brown and festival show Hussain In The Membrane suggest.
“I had 10 minutes in the deadline to submit my title so it was either No Pain No Hussain or Hussain that?” he said.
“In this show I talk a little bit about going to China and trying to communicate with an audience there and culturally how different things are and some of the similarities that we share.”
Hussain also discusses his experience as a soon-to-be dad.
“I think my partner’s due on the last night of the Melbourne Comedy Festival (April); I don’t know, I might be waiting on stage with the phone just checking for text messages and I don’t know if I’m supposed to just run out,” he said.
“Everyone has advice and people tell me to read all sorts of different books. Someone recently told me: ‘Don’t use a pram for the first year because it encourages detachment’.
“I also talk about going to Harrison, Arkansas, which happens to be the most racist town in the US and also the HQ of the KKK – the crew didn’t let me out of the hotel unless I was accompanied by the white crew.
“Essentially I was imprisoned in the hotel but I had a pretty good experience and ended up getting in touch with the head of the KKK, pretending I was a white nationalist, and long story short he wanted to meet up.”
What: No Pain No Hussain at Perth Comedy Festival
Where: Regal Theatre, Perth
When: May 5