Bengali-American comedian, Usama Siddiquee, knows what you’re thinking – his name isn’t exactly comforting to the narrow-minded. He’ll be the first to tell you about the problems he’s encountered living life in his skin; but what he won’t immediately tell you about is his extensive list of accomplishments. He’s been on major TV networks, placed both as a finalist and as a 1st place winner in several big-name competitions, and his videos can be found on household name websites from NBC to Buzzfeed. If you haven’t managed to come across his work already, chances are, you’re going to be seeing him in the very near future anyway.
A hybrid of nervousness and confidence, soft-spokeness and animation, Siddiquee’s energy is hard to define. He tackles touchy subjects with a mixture of nonchalantly and emphatically delivered punch lines. The juxtaposition of intense proclamations and off-the-cuff admissions keeps his audience engaged and continuously laughing throughout his performance. He moves from one topic to the next with an almost uncomfortable yet perfectly timed silence that keeps everyone in the room anticipating their next hearty laugh.
Siddiquee confronts provocative issues with ease and hilarity. Often making light of cultural differences, he uses his disenfranchisement to his advantage. Whereas, most other comedians stray away from discussions about religion, Siddiquee addresses it head on. He scatters references to his Muslim beliefs and now-vilified namesakes across his discussions of sex, money, religion, and what melanin-challenged-cultures consider to be “child abuse”. Objectively speaking, his performance seems risqué and controversial – but, subjectively speaking, Siddiquee manages to downplay everyone’s unique differences in such a way that leaves his audiences feeling comfortable and unified.
Thankfully, he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Each week he announces his performances on Instagram, and can be found on stages across New York City. In his own clever and true words, Usama Siddiquee is definitely “the kind of comic you want to follow right now, so you can totally gloat to your friends about how you were totally into him before he got huge.” Go – NOW.