Thursday, April 27, 2006


I know there has been a distinct lack of funny here past few days. Beend drawing alot more recently, and had a few articles to write so kinda exhausted.

No definite word on the Lahore show yet, but I am performing at the Open-Mic Night. All new, fresh and minty material.

In the meantime, I have discovered what is needed to fulfill my plans of World Domination. The 17" MacBook Pro. It is absolutely essential to my becoming a succesful mass-murdered/dictator. Really. I don't know how Pol Pot and Miloscevic did things without one. I know Potty (that's what we used to call Pol Pot back in Dictator High School) used to futz around with an old Commodore 64. The adapter would heat up ever half hour and the games came on tapes. So you can imagine how pissed off he'd be at the end of the day. "Potty," I'd say, "you gotta get on the Apple scene man. How ya gonna keep things organized if you can't even work a disk drive!". He would argue and argue, little skinny man with big specs, going blue in the face. We are too dependant on tech, he would say. So I gave him a wedgie.

He died alone under house arrest. Probably of boredom the dumb shit.

Slobby was better at least. Not a Mac user, more into PC's he. At least better organized than Potty. But the damned Windows was Service Pack 1 and so it kept crashing and he kept forgetting where he put a mass grave because the notepad file with the list of addresses would get deleted each time. So many mass graves, all because he never installed Norton.

Now me, with my shiny silver 17" MacBook Pro. Intel inside. Mac on the outside. iSight camera built in. I can rule the world with an iron fist, look good while doing it and even video-conference with my minions and rank and file. All from the comfort of my own room. And at night the keyboard lights up so now I can even organize genocide at night from the comfort of my bed, without needed to keep the lights on and waking the wife.

Aah. Thank you Steve Jobs. You have made this would-be dictator happy. And to think my German teachers said I wouldn't amount to anything. "Talks to much," they would say. "Ve haff ways of makink you talk!" I quipped back.

So they beat me.


I'll show them. I'll show them all.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Shit, the Lahore show has been postpone, probably to next Friday (5th of May). Some scheduling stuff out of my control. If you cancelled any plans to come see the show (I know a bunch of LUMS kids were planning on going hiking or something and postponed their planes), I'm sorry. I promise to make the show EXTRA-good when it does happen.

I think the next Open-Mic is on the 1st of May. So will definetely do some comedy there.

Come watch.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Next stop: Lahore. 28th of April. Solo-Show. 

More details to come.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I have made a decision (add your own dramatic drum-based sound effect here):

Black Fish has signed a contract with Telenor that will see us doing performances pretty much exclusively for them for the next three months. Saturdays and Sundays. Much money involved.

This has, ofcourse, gotten my indie anti-corporate sentiments in a knot. I was never comfortable with doing so many corporate shows and it's the reason why I have tried to keep my Stand-Up free of corporate sponsorship (I know I am doing shows with FM89 but I don't consider them a "corporation" per se mainly because of the quality of their work ethic. They aren't making money off me and we are keeping branding to a minimum). So how should I justify the extreme corporate-whoring of Black Fish?

Subsidizing. That's how I am thinking of it. Doing this gives me the money to subsidize my Stand-up. I can focus on writing a little more knowing I have money in the bank now. I can use that money to finance a trip to either the Montreal Comedy Festival or the Aspen Comedy Festival in 2007. I can even afford to finance the next solo-shows out of my own pocket (the last one nearly left me broke).

So I am renaming 2006 as The Year of Corporate-Whoring. I will stop feeling guily about this and instead revel in corporate shows and swimming-pools full of money. And in return I can maybe do some good Stand-Up for the people who love to watch it.

So that's that.


In other news: I have over half an hour of new comedy done. By my estimate I will have a complete hour ready in a month or so. However, due to the Black Fish commitment I can't do a new solo-show till July, so my new tentative date for a brand spanking new solo-show with all new material is second week July. Thinking of making it more than one night this time. Maybe a two or three night show.


Saturday, April 15, 2006


I am almost euphoric. It's been a good bunch of days comedy-writing-wise.

I think it's because of the two shows in Islamabad followed by Saad telling me about the next Open-Mic happening in two weeks. Plus got one more show in Lahore to do.

I love when this happens. Everything gives me material to write about. My brain starts humming with electricity. This node connects to that synapse which kicks that lobe into hyperdrive. Next thing I know I am possessed by Dionysus and Bacchus and Loki and it's 3:00 a.m. and I have done WRITING.

I am dangerous at these times. My mind is so powerful it works like a magnet, wiping clean hard disks. I can impregnate nuns with but a stare. The keyboard is reinforced with titanium - so hard do I bludgeon the keys with mine fingers.

I am writing. Comedy. Beware.

In other news: My wife got me a Demitri Martin Autograph after attending his show in Melbourne. Excuse me while I squeal like a teenage girl who has just been glanced at flirtatiously by a singer from West Life.


After two days of feeling like there is a fist clenched in front of our collective faces, the city cautiosly gathers itself up again. Lines at the Petrol Stations are still immense, as if Armageddon is coming and we all can outdrive it if we just have one more litre.

Sitting at work after two days of doing nothing and actually feeling more productive as a human being, even if there is nothing to do but check email play Bubble Snooker (it's like pixellated crack that game).

Trying to convince Saad to let me do some new material at the next open-mic. He isn't averse to me trying new stuff out, just not to keen on it being the bit I have merrily titled: CHRONOLOGY OF WANKING.

Will post portions of it here if it never makes it past the Family-Friendly barrier of Open-Mic Night.

In the meantime, been thinking about what I want my obiturary to read like in the newspaper. Bored with the usual "Loving husband" bollocks. Really. If the obituary is to be the final description of me to the world it should be something more exciting.

Here is my first draft:


Sami's hair was a vile toxic orange. As were his large, unblinking
eyes. As, indeed, was his penis, painted in a sticky antiseptic
emulsion to defeat the various Shagging Diseases that remained rife in
the Sexual Underworld.

Sami's business card proclaimed his vocation to be Colossal Pervert.
And all on the Scene knew that Sami pursued his hideous trade with the
zeal of a priest. If a priest's holy chores involved projecting his
lunch into the anuses of badly confused teenage girls from Hungary.

Sami's penis used to cast a shadow over the Adult business. Quite
literally, if when he stood on high ground at noon. Strong men would
weep and cut themselves in bad places when Sami demonstrated arcane
penile skills learned in Japan and Tibet, using his warrior's member
to snap wood, bricks and sports utility vehicles. Several starlets --
three of whom have been since removed to asylums by their families --
claim to have seen it conduct lightning. Some producers had begun to
sheathe the member in large burlap sacks previous to performances, to
prevent other participants prostrating themselves in Religious Awe,
and also to stay the occasional manifestation of Miracles in its

Sami is a Hero of the Humping Industry, loved by the twinks and the
coprophages, adored by the size queens and the gangbangers, cherished
by the gonzo and the semen shooters. His kindness is the stuff of
legend, and the whores kissed him in the street since that mythic day
when he crushed a pimp's spine using only the frighteningly
overdeveloped muscles in his buttocks.

Sami is a Superhero of modern pornography. He was Omnisexual, and
could obtain erections of historical significance with no more
provocation than the sight of naked fungus. He is a countercultural
God in Iceland, where the band Múm's song "Takk Sami" became a massive
hit following his specialist videos for that country's market, "Sami
Gives It To Various Species Of Tree That Don't Grow Here Anymore" and
"Sami Fills The Volcano."

Sami lived alone in a quiet area of Karachi. He was addicted to
Vicodin and never had a girlfriend. And now never will.


Heh. I know I know...I'm a bizarre pervert. In the words of Oscar Wilde, "A dirty mind is a joy forever."

Thursday, April 13, 2006


This post isn't comedy related. In fact, it has nothing to do with Stand-Up at all. So if you come here to read about the trials and tribulations of a neurotic comedian then skip this post and come back another day.

What this IS about is my art stuff. I am also an illustrator (see! so much you don't know about me). I tend to host my stuff on Deviant Art but to view my full gallery you need to set up an account and people just can't be arsed to answer the 15-bajillion (it's a number!) questions Deviant Art asks before activating your account.

Recently a bunch of folks have shown interest in buying my prints, both in Pakistan and abroad. So am posting some of the better works here. To view them larger just click the thumbnails.

WARNING: Some of these are Not Work Safe. So don't blame me if your boss catches you looking at them and brands you a pervert. I just draws 'em.

So first the drawings themselves:

Free Image Hosting at

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These are entirely drawn on the computer. Mainly using Illustrator with some touching-up in Photoshop. With a mouse. Have yet to invest in a graphic tablet. Since they are vector drawings they are pretty much infinitely scalable so prints can be made available at any size.

Now stop judging me for these. Your regularly scheduled inane comedy-related banter will continue shortly.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Been basking in the warm glow of the Sunday Islamabad show. I finally have complete faith in the material. Now I can focus on being insecure about the newer stuff that is still untested.

Got an idea for some stuff yesterday which is good, but it isn't new material. I seem to be finding stuff I wrote for other purporses alot recently. Just edit and repackage and it works as Stand-Up.
One is an article I wrote for Spyder Magazine and the other is a testimonial I wrote for a friend on Orkut (shut up).

Yes, I know this is all scintillating stuff.

Yesterday was the Nishtar Park explosion. Typical Karachi event. People get together to pray, some fuckwit blows himself to bits killing lots of innocents. Then a mob starts rioting. Wondering about the thought process behind the rioting mobs. This seems to be a phenomenon local to us. In London after the 7/7 bombing people were helpign out and being all samaritan-esque. Here, every time something goes wrong, a mob appears and starts burning and pillaging. It's like some specialist mob that is hired for these events. They are all on rapid deployment. And once the destruction is done they melt into the night. Ninja rioters.

Maybe they are trained by the same people who train Bus Drivers. Everytime there is a bus accident the driver disappears. It's like they have special stealth powers. If your bus driver is wearing sneakers and an urban camoflauge outfit, beware.

Tonight on the way back home from Black Fish rehearsals, got stuck in a traffic jam for 45 minutes because the Prime Minister was passing by. Started imagining a scenario where everyone starts forming a primitive society in the traffic jam. Maybe the different vehicles become different clans. Motorcyclists in one clan, cars in another. Truck Drivers in third. We all start competing for food and other resources. A road-kill cat whose been stretched paper thin on the tarmac becomes the Totem Animal God that we worship. Then, just before we are all saved, we kill the fat kid.

If you haven't read Lord of the Flies ignore the above bit.

I need to start getting out again.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Sunday afternoon, and I just got back from a breakfast up in the mountains under a gun metal sky. Drops of rain as fat as raisins slapping down around me as I sipped a cup of tea. All is right with the world.

Wasn't that way last night though:

My recurring nughtmare came true. Got on stage, did the first bit. No one laughed. Later sat with FM89 and we realized what went wrong. Bad sound, bad lights and an auditorium that was too damned big.

Today will be better. Tonight 6 speakers, a spotlight and two cans of Red Bull will make up for what went wrong last night.

Tonight I am not leaving Islamabad unless I get a standing ovation. That's my promise to myself and my promise to FM89, who have done so much for me and had faith in me when I didn't these last two days.

The sky looks like a bruise. Steel wool clouds scraping the tops of the city.

I can do this.


Did it right the second time.

Am back in Karachi, sweat soaked and suffering a plague of mosquitoes.
Good God the second show was in stark contrast to the first. 6 speakers. Spotlight. All the energy I had to give.

Actually had to stop mid-show for a few seconds because a girl was laughing so hard she had trouble breathing. And I signed autographs.

What more can I ask for. Really.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Thursday morning and am at work for a meeting that no one else bothered to turn up for. It's too early for this. Excuse me while I go splash some coffee on my face.


Okay, much better. A bit more wideawake right now. The Islamabad shows are in two days and I am feeling alot better. More confident. Which when said aloud like this makes me less confident. And so on. At least I've stopped dreaming I am performing in front of Jerry Seinfeld, Mitch Hedberg, George Carlin and Bill Cosby while completely naked. Me being naked. Not them. I have no interest in seeing any of those gentlemen naked.

Envy my wife. She is Melbourne and can attend the Melbourne Comedy Festival there. And she already has tickets to go see Demitri Martin! 

Some people have all the luck.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Brace yourselves, here comes the official announcement I've been promising:



Sami Shah loves you. He bought you flowers and candy. Did you get
them? He has many things to tell you. Wonderful truths about the world
around you. And why comedy is not as dead as they say. Just like
Elvis. Will you listen to what he has to say? And more importantly,
will you return Sami Shah's calls?

An hour-long solo Stand-up comedy show by Sami Shah.

Let him tell you the truth behind Traffic Policemen. How best to deal
with being rear-ended in traffic. And why skinny people have feelings.
All presented in a comedy package that is chocolatey on the outside and
nougat filled on the inside.

It's about dealing with the world around you.

It's Sami Shah standing on stage and talking for an hour.

9 out of 10 dentists recommend it. The 10th dentist is also going to
recommend it as soon as we get around to beating him in the kneecaps.

This show has been rated All-Ages. There will be no nudity. Despite
what Sami Shah's psycho-therapist may say. Expect mild-violence

WHERE: Planet X
WHEN: 8th & 9th APRIL



The folks at FM89 have been incredible through this whole thing, giving into a list of silly demands from me and really helping out in any way possible (including giving my lack-of-self-confidence ass a pep talk whenever needed.

I saw the poster and tickets yesterday and they looking freaking amazing. Nice paper, quality printing. And the promo (currently airing in Islamabad) is excellent. Will upload it and link here sometime today.

Been practicing all weekend, and will continue to rehearse all week long. Seeing everything they have done kinda brought it home. People have invested money in me and my promise of making people laugh. At least from my end there should be NO excuses.

Is Islamabad ready for stand-up? Let's find out.