Comedy duo Ali Hassan and Dave Merheje tackle life their own way
Comedy duo Ali Hassan and Dave Merheje have been as close as brothers for a long time. The comedians, both of whom have made it as individual acts, now come together in a duo, We Ain’t Terrorists, to tackle issues close to their hearts, and dispel bias.
“The show is supposed to be showcasing Middle Eastern comedians from various spots around the country and different backgrounds, so they can just do the show and break these stereotypes,” said Merheje.
The show is set to begin another tour in January with an initial five-stop tour in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta.
“We wanted to have this other voice come out and show them something they may have not known or something they may have gotten wrong, and just defuse it and set it straight,” added Hassan.
Hassan and Merheje have both found success in both comedy and acting. Hassan has been a frequent guest host on CBC-Radio “q” and also serves as host of Canada Reads. Merheje is also recognizable from his performance in Mr. D, a CBC show.
The duo wants to draw attention to the fact that while their own upbringing may have differed from many of those in the audience, the fundamentals of being a Canadian are the same.
“I mean, I played road hockey,” said Merheje.
“I am not trying to say I am better than you, but I know how to skate like a proper Canadian,” teased Hassan.
The duo has known each other for many years, and developed a bond that they say adds to their comedy.
“We know how to play off one another and what cues the other has on when they want to say something.”
The initial response to the show surprised both Hassan and Merheje, with the first shows drawing requests to talk more about their respective backgrounds and families.
“One or two people per show would come up to us and say stuff like ‘we thought you would talk more about your family or your background,’ but the whole point of the show is that we are both more than that. We are not just our background.”
We Ain’t Terrorists will perform on Jan. 24 at The Gateway. Tickets are available here.