A comedy clubgoer in Naples, Fla., called police to report that Egyptian-American standup Ahmed Ahmed told a joke about organizing a terrorist organization.
One day after seeing the comedian, the unidentified man called the non-emergency police line to report the “terrible” joke the comic said at the start of the show.
According to the call released by the Collier County Sheriff's Office, the caller noted that Ahmed Ahmed is “you know, Middle Eastern” and said he asked the audience if anyone was from that region of the world.
“A whole bunch of people raised their hands and said, ‘I’m from Iraq,’ ‘I’m from Iran,’ ‘I’m from Pakistan,’ ‘I’m from here, I’m from there.’ And he said, ‘We could organize our own little terrorist organization.’ And I don’t think that was right,” the caller said. “It really bothered me. And I yelled out: ‘Yeah, and the paddywagon’s going to be outside to get all of you.’”
The man went on to note that there were about “25 Muslims” at the show, and wanted police to go to the comedy club to investigate.
“I just thought it was terrible. My wife and I looked at each other and felt very uncomfortable,” he added, and noted that he didn’t want his name used.
Needless to say, Ahmed Ahmed — who shared footage of his friendly interaction with officers who responded — was stunned.
“You can’t write this s***,” the funnyman said to police officers. “This is really happening.”
While laughing, one of the officers said he couldn’t believe the received such a ridiculous call. “I think it’s the first time for everyone here honestly.”
Ahmed Ahmed later told the local NBC affiliate, "I don't know if it's fear, racism, ignorance, or Islamophobia, or whatever you want to call it. It's unfortunate that somebody was very adamant about making a point to make a 911 call." (Note, while Ahmed Ahmed and NBC referred to it as a 911 call, the dispatcher tweeted that it was “a non emergency call on the admin line, not 911.”)
This happened to me last night @OTHComedyClub in Naples, Florida! An audience member called 9-11 on me because “they feared for their lives” over a joke I told on stage. That’s never happened to me or any comedian I believe. Fucking crazy man. The cops were even like “WTF”? 🤦🏻♂️👮🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/hQezwJPXhw— AHMED AHMED (@ahmedcomedy) May 13, 2019
The comedy club has since released video of the comic’s performance.
“It only takes one of us,” Ahmed Ahmed quipped to the audience, which roared with laughter, before he added, “to tell a joke.”
Then he made fun of the audience for being “scared” by his “takes one of us” joke — and told them to “calm down.” He then quipped, “F*** that — lock the doors.”
People who were in the audience have since defended him online.
As a guest that night i can confirm that there were 3 middle eastern people that raised their hands... they weren't from the countries mentioned in the call ... and you were definitely misquoted. This protective white girl is speaking up for you too, lol. Great show!— Monica Houghton (@MonicaHoughton1) May 15, 2019
The comedy club, which received no complaint from the caller directly before the man called police, have since booked Ahmed Ahmed — who has lived in America since he was a month old — for another show.
Despite having the COPS called on him!! @ahmedcomedy is coming back for ONE night only for an encore show! Naples let’s show him some support and appreciation and sell this show out!!! See ya Wednesday May 22 🤗— Off The Hook Comedy (@OTHComedyClub) May 15, 2019
🎟 https://t.co/ZGiEafYEbw pic.twitter.com/4pbAsLUqpS
The internet is mostly in shock over the ridiculous call.
We have a mental health crisis in this country from which I fear we will never recover.— Rational Thought (@ktemple9) May 15, 2019
humor is dead everybody.— Dem1se (@_dem1se_) May 15, 2019
Absurd. My Egyptian parents live about 15 minutes from there. Shall I send them with their Egyptian friends to fill your audience? Or will that trigger another 911 call? 🙄🙄— Brenda (@BrendaFA81) May 15, 2019
Nothing funny about this. And you’re funny, dude. Sucks man.— Jon Wolfe (@jcw1969ny) May 14, 2019
And think the caller should be investigated himself.
What an idiot. What a waste of law enforcement resources. How about a little charge for filing a false report? pic.twitter.com/uNQeXtU899— Es On Miami (@EsOnMiami) May 15, 2019
Isn't this a form of SWATING?— Ian Pease (@Ravasempai) May 15, 2019
Though several people did make jokes about it occurring in Florida.
Florida man calls police...— Rube (@CameronWarriner) May 15, 2019
Only in Naples— chris baker (@buddahcab42) May 15, 2019
Welcome to white bread Naples where “it’s alright, if it’s all white”. Hope this one jackass doesn’t make you think we’re all like that. Glad to see you’ll be back though shortly.— Ken Van Osten (@gr8kenbino) May 15, 2019
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