Entertainment Hive 2020

Tahir embraces all cultures at tongue-in-cheek show

By Honey B

Tahir likes to push the boundaries a little with the titles of his comedy shows. His latest show is titled: Bogans, Wogs, Asians and other Aussie Citizens. It follows hot on the heels of Tahir’s 2015 sold-out show, The Complete Guide To Being A Racist. “The cheeky thing of this show’s title is to say that we are all Aussie citizens, but we just have different Australian stories to tell,’’ Tahir says. “People come to my show to laugh and learn, of course it’s a comedy show, but if you can walk away with a few values and learn a few things over a few laughs – then the learning is a bonus.’’ While most people realise Tahir’s comedy is very much tongue-in-cheek, he has had a few audience members who haven’t realised his show titles aren’t serious. “Last year during the Adelaide run I actually had two genuine racist people turn up to the show – I kid you not. “They rocked up and the crowd, sort of, turned on them. I don’t know what they were thinking of coming to my show? “Maybe they thought it was going to be a seminar on racism – like we are celebrating it. “It’s a tricky show to navigate and there are a few serious points but people have to be able to laugh along the way. “But those people were genuinely there for the racist jokes and I certainly do not celebrate that.’’ Tahir was born in Turkey and moved to Australia with his parents when he was aged three or four and he describes himself simply as “as Aussie as it gets’’. “I grew up here and was educated here and like all Aussie I love sport. I will watch everything – tennis, cricket, golf, footy whatever. “Sport is part of our culture and I love a barbeque. “My dad worked for Kelloggs Cornflakes, even though it’s an American company it sounds so Aussie, and my mum worked for Dunlop. “We were just so Aussie, although I think my parents were probably a bit stricter. “My parents came to Australian in their early 20s and it would have been hard to move across the other side of the world to a foreign country – just a massive move. “In my 20s I was still struggling to get my driver’s licence and I was nowhere near as mature as my parents.’’ Tahir says the Australian culture is certainly “very accepting’’. “I think we are more accepting and there is no doubt about that. This is the best country in the world. “But there is an element there that does not want to accept it and there are still groups that want to stir up trouble, but they are in small numbers. “When you ask people what it means to be Australian they certainly wouldn’t say appearance. “Whatever you look like you can be Australian and I pity the groups that are ignorant and the bigots out there.’’ Along with Tahir’s intelligent comedy show he is also the co-creator of Channel 9 sitcom Here Come The Habibs. “We came up with the idea for Here Come The Habibs four years ago and Channel 9 decided to give it a go. “We have copped some flak on-line from people who haven’t even seen the show yet about it being racist and all sorts of things. “This is a family sitcom that people can sit down at home with their families and watch. It’s not moralistic and it’s more about cultures and neighbours really. “To be honest we are taking the mickey out of rich, white people. “It’s exciting to see a different Australian family on television – a Lebanese family who are over-the-top and love barbecues and love having people over and they are loud. “Australia is a mixed nation and our shows should reflect that and celebrate it.’’ Tahir – Bogans, Wogs, Asians and Other Aussie Citizens, Adelaide Fringe, Gluttony, The Piglet, Rymill Park until February 28. Bookings: 1300 621 255
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