Sep 3 2016
Allegedly, he makes a living playing Muslim festivals and talking about paedophiles. It figures, Muslims have no sense of humor, but are fine with paedophiles…after all, their so-called “holy prophet” was one.
VICE Muslims love him, Trump supporters hate him. That’s South Carolina comic Jeremy McLellan’s schtick.
With over 100,000 mainly Muslim followers on Facebook, McLellan has become a staple at Muslim festivals and events around North America. In the upcoming months, McLellan’s gigs include the radical Muslim Brotherhood front group’s Muslim Student Association events at universities across the US, a non-profit for Syrian refugees in Boston, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations annual banquet for Oklahoma and Los Angeles. (Why am I not surprised?)
McLellan says he never set out to gain a Muslim following. “As a comedian, you just tell jokes that you think are funny and talk about issues you think are important.” (But if your jokes are not funny, Muslims will love you)
McLellan, 30, grew up in Charleston in a conservative Christian household but his comedy has always been focused on liberal-minded takes on immigration, race, religion, Islamophobia, politics and disabilities.
“One of the reasons I’m so passionate about the rights of Muslims is because my wife is Catholic. It’s hard to imagine now, but years ago politicians would have called her disloyal, hateful, intemperate, angry, un-American barbarian. And you know what? They would have been right. But NOT because she’s Catholic,” is a typical joke from a McLellan set.
McLellan, however, doesn’t like labels, well, some labels. “I try to correct people when they label me a libertarian comedian or a Christian comedian. But I guess you could call me a political comedian because I do that a lot.”
Now, McLellan is a pro at navigating Muslim events understanding the unspoken do’s and don’ts: do not shake hands with the women (unless they initiate the gesture); do tell jokes about how diverse the Muslim community is; do not say “Moslem.”
I recently met up with him at Muslimfest in Mississauga, Ontario where we talked about Trump, death threats, and Desis (a person of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi descent).
Watch the video below to see why he can’t make a living from American audiences.