Dubbed by The Age as the next “huge mainstream star”, Australian comedian Khaled Khalafalla is letting Loose and brought his stand-up show to Sydney on Friday 14 July at the Comedy Store.
“To all my Sydney fans, you’re not going to be disappointed. This is my best show yet,” said Khalafalla in an exclusive interview with AMUST before the show.
Starting off as a host for charity events who had an “addiction to making people laugh”, Khalafalla has performed for the likes of the Just For Laughs show and is now one of the seven most promising emerging artists of 2017 across the world.
“One of the things that makes me different is that I’m a Muslim. It’s not that I’m specifically a Muslim comedian, it’s just that I am a Muslim and a comedian,” said Khalafalla.
Khalafalla had a diverse upbringing; ethnically Egyptian, he moved from Saudi Arabia to different parts of New Zealand before settling in Melbourne, giving him a unique viewpoint that facilitates complex and yet appealing stand-up humour.
“It’s about connecting with people who are most like you at your call. It’s a mixture of people who unite with me in the struggle to balance being a Muslim and an Australian at the same time. The challenge is to not give precedence to one over the other, instead of knowing the value of having to be both at the same time.”
Khaled was invited to entertain the Australian army troops whereby he accompanied them to their base in Afghanistan.
His curiosity during the journey made it an important experience for him where he felt like he truly belonged for the first time as both an Australian and a Muslim.
“When you’re in the entertainment industry, you don’t have a lot of opportunities to do things that have a deep and meaningful purpose. Over there, they were doing everything for a purpose and they found it difficult in the army to do mundane things, like entertainment.”
“When we interacted, I felt like it was the first time I was entertaining for a purpose, and similarly they felt that their purpose was kind of entertaining .”
Khalafalla continues to present his comedy as a reflection of himself, preferring to employ light hearted humour instead of making intense political statements.