Wayne Brady brings on the laughs in Dubai

Ambica Sachin /Dubai
ambica@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 4, 2021

Wayne Brady (Photos/Mohammad Mustafa Khan)

Simmi Areff

Abz Ali

Rushdi Rafeek

The comic's set at Coca-Cola Arena was preceded by local comedians Simmi Areff, Abz Ali and Rushdi Rafeek.

When a man flies 15 hours across the world to deliver an impromptu set made up on the spot, with cues from a sporting audience, chances are it could end in disaster. But when it is the multi-talented singer, actor, comedian and game show host Wayne Brady holding the mic you can bet there is never going to be even the tiniest awkward pause as the uproarious night rolled on. We bet Dubai has not laughed as hard or as long in recent times as they did at the Wayne Brady Live in Dubai show at the Coca-Cola Arena on Friday night.

The Whose Line Is It Anyway star exhibited none of the jet lag he referred to in his set as he along with his partner, a stellar Jonathan Magnum, took on the audience, with a few ‘lucky’ ones called up on stage to support his act.

From a random on-the-spot put together lively hip hop song with the most unusual words thrown at him from the audience, including perpendicular, supine, tractor and hummus to an Irish folk song on the dark theme of the grim reaper, suggested by a woman in the crowd, Wayne ran with it all.

“I’m not trying to make anyone look stupid,” he repeatedly told the crowd, who at times were understandably wary of being made a public butt of the comedian’s jokes. And while there might have been very many ribald jokes that made its way through his comic routine, the intentions were as Wayne said, pure fun.

The night was opened by a trio of local comedians including Durban born Simmi Areff (his Boko Haram joke might not have gone down too well admittedly) and Sri Lankan Rushdi Rafeek who worked the crowd like a pro before the main act. But if there was one man we could have listened to forever it was Emirati comedian Abz Ali whose opening act was a tough one to follow no doubt.

From common hilarious misconceptions about Emiratis to the super powers of a Kandora, Ali didn’t pause for a minute as he engaged with the audience who couldn’t get enough of his self-deprecating humour.

Getting on stage in front of an audience you have never seen before and feeding off their energy for your entire show is a skill set that Wayne has excelled in over the years. And in these gloomy times, to be able to get people to forget their woes and roll with laughter is an impressive feat indeed.


Ambica Sachin

Armed with a double masters in English Literature, Ambica Sachin embarked on a career that has seen her straddle teaching, assisting an award-winning author, and reviewing books and movies, before finding her forte in critical writing and interviewing celebrities. She is currently Editor, City Times, the lifestyle and entertainment portal of Khaleej Times.


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