The Egyptian people have been celebrating day and night today upon hearing that their ruler of the past 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, had fled Cairo and given up his authority.
My thoughts turned to the Egyptian-Americans I know, both civilian and comedian.
Screenwriter and UCBer Mohamed Fathelbab has been actively outspoken since the mass rallies and protests began a few weeks ago. One of his many comments today: "There are going to be a lot of Egyptian babies born 9 months from now. #Egypt #Jan25 #Feb11"
Ahmed Ahmed kept it even simpler today: "Egypt is free!"
Last summer, Al Jazeera TV put a spotlight on Egyptian-born comedian Ahmed Ahmed and his documentary, Just Like Us, which included several segments on his homeland, where he wasn't the only one to decide that Egyptians were and are the funniest people in the Middle East.
Warm temperatures, a full moon and Friday night meant you just knew that everyone would be out and about in New York City. After catching some live comedy around the city, I settled in for some people-watching outside the Comedy Cellar. Among the people watched last night, Chevy Chase with his wife and one of his daughters, who walked past around 1 a.m. Ardie Fuqua, hosting the Cellar last night, excitedly exclaimed, "It's Chevy Chase," and ran over to shake his hand. Chase and crew kept walking, though. And it turns out Chase already had his fill of comedy for the evening, considering he made an impromptu appearance and performance earlier at the Comedy Village, all to see Dave Chappelle. The Comedy Village is thrilled about this because they usually have barkers at the sidewalk corners trying to get passersby to pay a visit, and saying you had Chappelle and Chase in your club last night is a nice feat.
Anyhow. According to comedian/eyewitness Maria Shehata, Chappelle had the mic and began poking fun at someone who just entered the club, saying to him: "Did you say you had herpes? Did you just walk into a comedy club and announce you have herpes?" The club's staff replied first: "It's Chevy Chase!" This naturally got the audience even more excited than they were. Chase approached Chappelle and the two shook hands, and Chase said he showed up because he heard Chappelle was there. After Chappelle concluded his set about a half-hour later, Chase took the stage, sat down and worked the crowd for a few minutes, taking questions, goofing around, and in this brief clip, giving his assessment on the current cast of Saturday Night Live. "I think they're damned good. They're serious. There's not one of them in the back freebasing," he said. Roll it!