Nemr Abou Nassar performed at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on March 25. Photo credit: Elio Elia

Nemr Abou Nassar performed a stand-up comedy show at the Algonquin Commons Theatre on March 25, 2022 as part of his current tour in Canada.

Abou Nassar’s show ran for about two hours Friday night, as the comic told jokes about a range of topics including parenting, vaccines, the pandemic and the strength of women.

The Lebanese-American comedian has had shows in Toronto and Montreal in the past, but this was his first time performing in Ottawa.

The theatre was packed with people, with only a few empty seats. The majority of the people who attended were Lebanese, indicated by the many enthusiastic hands that were raised when the comedian asked if there were any people from the Middle Eastern country.

“It was fantastic, it was brilliant,” said Oliver Kittan, an Ottawa resident and fan of Abou Nassar who loved the show. “I had high expectations coming in and I can say I was not disappointed.”

The feeling was mutual for many members of the audience, as the comedian was met with cries of laughter each time he made a joke, and was met with a standing ovation at the end of the show.

“I thought the show was quite hilarious. It was so funny, we loved the whole thing,” said Nada El Bouchi, another fan. El Bouchi came to the show with her family of five, all of whom were eagerly waiting for months to see Abou Nassar having been fans for years.

A Lebanese couple who came to the show on a date, Tchjar Aoun and Melissa Boulous, both loved Abou Nessar’s performance as well. “It was amazing, hilarious. He was so relatable,” said Boulous.

“Tears were coming down cause we were laughing so much,” added Aoun. “My only regret was not bringing my whole family.”

When asked what was the best joke of the night, all three interviewees agreed that it was the comedian’s “beating the kids” joke, which out of context may sound silly, but was met with cries of laughter from the crowd.

The joke was about the need for parents to beat their children, as has traditionally been done to discipline some kids in Lebanon, as a way to fix to the entitlement of the people of the United States.

Abou Nassar went on to perform in Montreal the next night, and will take a short break before touring the United States later this summer.