Interview: How to be a Cool Comedian with Mehran Khaghani
Mehran Khaghani is a cool and scary comedian. When he is not crushing and almighty and everyone loves his work, he is a human like us. Look Ma, No Hands!
Below is a summary of our interview:
“To learn the transport by the pain as blind man learn the sun” – a line from Emily Dickenson’s poem
Mehran’s family is Iranian. In 1975, his mother got pregnant there and left to go have him in London, by herself. Reunited with his family in Iran. The Iran shattered his family and inflicted a trauma that didn’t shake very easily. At a very early age, his easiest way of dealing with things has always been to laugh and always to make jokes. Mehran would make sure that the spirit is high and influence others to laugh. Mehran talks about how this led him to always want to go into the performing arts. He wanted to be in front of people. He went to UMass – Amherst with the intention of going into liberal arts, so he goes State and found that helpful. He never stopped doing theater. In college, he did a bunch of theater and then he left college and just waited tables. At some point, he moved to Miami. He was kind of promiscuous. He lived in New York briefly, New York kicked him in the butt, then he moved back to Boston, and started drinking like a demon at the age of 25. He worked as a bartender and was fired from many restaurants. But being smart, he had to do something that uses his intellectual resources, and found a few jobs. He searched for comedy classes and took the first one he found at Google, while he was collecting unemployment.
Mehran was in the Boston Comedy Festival competition in 2009 and made it through to the Semi-final round. In his first year, he was in the finals of a competition that no one really knew who he is. So he was performing to an audience of men older than 60, so the energy of the room wasn’t great. And he came in dead last in the finals and it hurt.
He felt it the very first time he did it in the graduation class room doing stand-up. He went last and was the strongest with the microphone that time.
Mehran’s work now
His particular brand of comedy is interesting. He can use words that would stimulate your brain and kind of gross on the inside, but extremely lovable. But what Mehran says is morally and spiritually wrong. Now, he has representation so he writes briefs, and lectures in comedy classes.
Book Mehran Recommends:
Helpful Habit: Eating abusively and play video games. In all seriousness, he says burning bridges and it’s not a bad thing to close yourself off to a world you want nothing to do with.
Helpful Person: His husband was his immediate response. Mehran recognizes his mentor at Harvard, too.
Internet Resource: Watching good comedy.
What’s Your Purpose: To de-stigmatize things. To take things that people pigeon-holed in a way and take it out of that pigeon hole, including gay pride.