A comedic take on parenthood’s tough questions

December 17, 2010

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(Illinois Humanities Council/Alisa Hauser)
Comic Azhar Usman at Th!nk Art Salon in March 2010.

Azhar Usman jokes that he looks like “that guy from LOST. Not the Indian one, the fat one!” The Chicago comedian uses humor to poke fun at racial stereotypes, referencing his own life as the child of Muslim immigrants growing up in the then mostly Jewish community of Skokie, Illinois.

In March, Usman did an extended set in front of an intimate audience at Chicago’s Th!nk Art Salon as part of their ongoing War & Peace exhibit.  He performs regularly alongside a Rabbi/comedian in a show they’ve dubbed the Laugh in Peace Tour.
 
Usman’s set took a surprisingly deep and personal turn when he shared a story about learning to parent four young sons who were inquisitive beyond their age. It's a variation on “kids say the darndest things,” only in this version, Usman’s son asks him to explain why God lets there be bad people in the world. Out of the mouths of babes.
 
Check out the audio excerpt posted above to hear how Usman handles questions he’s not ready to tackle. His approach will surprise you (and make you laugh).
 
Dynamic Range showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified's vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Click here to hear Usman’s entire set at Th!nk Art Salon, presented by The Public Square (a program of the The Illinois Humanities Council) and recorded by Chicago Amplified. Click here to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast.