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December 2, 2002

Osama Yo Mama

Something happened. Something that for a long time, I literally NEVER thought would happen. I wrote something. A short play. I have always told myself, I have no ability to write. I can interpret the words of others, but writing my own stuff is inconceivable. But I did! Then, in an even more bizarre twist of fate, it ended up being very, very funny. Then, I submitted it to a very reputable small theater in Los Angeles, and they said, “Yeah, we want to do it, and we want you to direct.” WHAT THE F???

At the Sacred Fools Theater, they have this late night show called Crime Scene. Every Saturday night at 11, the show features 3 story lines, 3 scenes each. The story lines generally take between 1–5 Saturday nights to tell. So it’s kind of like a funny soap opera. Each playlet rehearses about twice during the week and once Saturday afternoon, then they show up at 10:30 to do it. Also there’s no budget. It’s a crazy-a$$ process. I saw a few episodes, and I was in a few episodes, and I thought, hell, I just might be able to write one of these – the structure’s already there, all I need is a plot.

What do I need, I wondered. OK. It’s a drunk, late-night crowd. They want offensive jokes, they want sex, and generally they want to see what they don’t see at the (pronounce this with a British accent) Mark Taper Forum. So, I wrote a two-episode story called Osama Yo Mama. It features Osama Bin Laden as a kind of horny, incompetent frat-boy, an Al Qaeda group confused by which direction they are supposed to constantly pray in, women who remove burkas to reveal smokin’ hot bikini-clad bodies, and a rap soundtrack with Middle Eastern samples (ie, Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin”). The men all wore towels on their heads, the women’s burkas were basically sheets with Charlie Brown-type eye holes, and Osama’s little-brother-type sidekick wore gag T-shirts with slogans like “Co-Ed Naked Jihad,” “I’m with infidel,” “What would Allah do?” and “My other shirt… is a BOMB.” It was “offensive and controversial.” I guess. But I didn’t set out to “cut down” OR “humanize” Osama. I just thought it’d be funny. People use the term towel-heads, so I thought, let’s have ‘em in towels. Towels are easy to find anyway. Also, I thought it would be funny to have a dude with a Middle Eastern accent say things like “Oh no you didn’t!” and “Hey, you old c**ksucker, how you been?” Also, I thought, “Women in bikinis are cool.” Also I thought, Osama and Saddam are such scary “evildoers,” let’s make em out to be gay lovers. I basically cast a bunch of my friends, and we did it. And I was so busy with making sure I had a script and a cast and rehearsals and stuff that 3 of my best friends who were in the play, Dave, Mike, and Rahul, picked up the slack on everything else. They bought the Yankees cap worn by Osama’s right hand man Gary. They bought the powdered sugar donuts that Osama mistook for Anthrax donuts. They bought Osama’s poison birthday cake. It was so rad that it was this total grass-roots effort.

But here’s the really crazy part – everyone loved it. I mean loved it. People were like, “You should write more” and the producer of Crime Scene was like “We’re gonna have you direct more.” I got so much positive feedback after the shows that my face started to hurt from smiling so much. I think my face also hurt because I just got a root canal, but that’s another story.
I don’t really know how to end this journal entry. Basically, I just wanted to tell you guys about this supercool thing that I managed to do (of course with big help from a bunch of other people), and tell you that things are going really well right now. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I’ve had a lot to be thankful for.

Download and read the script!

The "I'm with Infidel" and "My other shirt... is a BOMB!" Tshirts are now available for purchase! $10 each or 2 for $15, + $2 shipping. Email Amir!

Read the archives:
My advice for current and aspiring actors (Feb '11)
So long, Amiricans! (Jan '10)
Vancouver! (Nov '09)
Politically Act-ive (Jan '08)
Welcome to the Desert (Jun '07)
In Flux (May '07)
"Which Groundlings show(s) should I see?" (Feb '07)
BackStage Article (Nov '06)
just for the heck of it, Luke Chueh (Mar '06)
Season 2 to come (Feb '06)
Seriously? (Feb '06)
SF Chron: you should be watching Campus Ladies! (Feb '06)
CL news: Giant bra is strapped for a home (Jan '06)
NY Times calls Campus Ladies Hilarious (Jan '06)
LA Times calls CL original and infectious (Jan '06)
Cheryl Hines TV Guide interview (Jan '06)
Hollywood Reporter loves Campus Ladies (Jan '06)
NY Times Business article on Campus Ladies (Jan '06)
OK, it's setting in (Dec '05)
Best... Problem... Ever! (Nov '05)
Gilmo my god! (May '05)
Kicking Aspen (Feb '05)
Goodbye WWRY (Jan '05)
Republicans -- the ultimate in Domestic Abuse (Nov '04)
Special K (Nov '04)
We Will, We Will, ROCK! (Sep '04)
We Will Preview You (Aug '04)
We Will Rehearse You (Jul '04)
Room Raiders / Summertime (Jun '04)
‘We Will Rock You’ Casting (May '04)
Nevermind Nirvana (Mar '04)
The Untitled Onion Movie (Jan '04)
Year in Review (Dec '03)
Second Bombay Dreams callback (Oct '03)
Bombay Dreams callback (Oct '03)
You're Not My Type (Sep '03)
More Making an Ass of Myself (Jul '03)
Shedding (Jun '03)
The Luckiest Man on Earth (May '03)
Snoopy the Intern (Apr '03)
In Pursuit of a Pilot (Mar '03)
The Real Amir (Feb '03)
Legally Blonde 2 (Jan '03)
Osama Yo Mama (Dec '02)
US Army Shoot (Oct '02)
Pimpin' the Studio Lots (Sep '02)
Gambling (Aug '02)

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