The Axis of Evil Comedy tour was founded in November 2005 by current headliners Ahmed Ahmed, Aron Kader, and Maz Jobrani, who is of Iranian descent. The group has also featured other performers, among them Dean Obeidallah, Nick Youssef, and Wonho Chung. The comedy group is named after President George W. Bush’s term “axis of evil,” which he coined in 2003 when describing the transnational network consisting of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Since its creation, the tour has grown greatly in fame.
The Axis of Evil Tour was able to give the Middle East its first ever stand-up comedy tour when the team traveled throughout the Middle East to Dubai, Cairo, Beirut, and Amman, in partnership with Showtime Arabia. In addition, the tour has been incredibly popular stateside as well, with several nationwide appearances and programs, including a special shot for Comedy Central which aired in 2007.
The tour has gained quite a reputation for promoting Arab-Muslim identities while also confronting controversial issues faced by both Arabs and Muslims in the post-9/11 world. This often includes making light of some very sensitive issues, including racial profiling, the War on Terror, and life in general for Arab-Muslim citizens within a post-9/11 society. Their strategy is to make these issues into something that isn’t overly serious, but rather into something that can be easily discussed and communicated.