Abu Dhabi Comedy Week: Guide to the festival, line-up and show times

Comics such as Chris Tucker, Kevin Bridges and Aziz Ansari are on the bill for the capital's first stand-up series

Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef will perform on May 24. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Get ready for the laughs.

The inaugural Abu Dhabi Comedy Week is set to take place at Etihad Arena from May 18 to 26 with a stellar line-up of comedians. Although plenty of big names have been announced, there are still more to come.

Here's who will be performing and when they will take to the stage.

Aziz Ansari

When: May 18 at 8pm

Ansari, known for his role in the hit series Parks and Recreation as well as his Emmy-winning Netflix show Master of None, will begin the comedy festival. In 2016, he made history as the first Indian-American actor to land a lead comedy-acting Emmy nomination.

Tommy Tiernan and Kevin Bridges

When: May 19 at 8pm

Tiernan is an Irish stand-up comic best known for playing Gerry in the British sitcom Derry Girls. He also hosts The Tommy Tiernan Show, where he has to interview guests but doesn't know who they are until they come out meaning it is all done on the fly.

Meanwhile, Scottish comic Bridges has four stand-up specials to his name, including 2018's The Brand New Tour. He is also a repeat guest on British TV shows such as Would I Lie to You and Have I Got News for You. He has also performed on Live at the Apollo and Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

Bad Friends: Andrew Santino and Bobby Lee

When: May 21 at 8pm

The pair are behind the popular podcast Bad Friends. They are known for their unique blend of humour, honesty and unfiltered banter. Bringing The Bad Friends Live Show to Abu Dhabi, expect unpredictable antics and behind-the-scenes stories from the duo's lives and careers. There will also be special guests, interactive segments and opportunities for audience participation.

Andrew Schulz

When: May 22 at 8pm

A New York native, Schulz is known for unfiltered comedy that is geared and customised for the city he is performing in. He has sold out arenas on his US tour and was in Abu Dhabi in October to perform as part of UFC 294 Showdown Week. Schulz also hosts popular podcasts Flagrant and The Brilliant Idiots and stars in the comedy mini-series Schulz Saves America on Netflix.

Bassem Youssef and Maz Jobrani

When: May 24 at 8pm

An Egyptian surgeon-turned-comedian, Youssef has been in the global spotlight recently thanks to his viral interviews with Piers Morgan on the Israel-Gaza war. Their first, which was posted on YouTube on October 18, has been viewed millions of times. Morgan said it was his most-watched interview since his show was launched two years ago.

American comedian Jobrani, who is of Iranian origin, has appeared on popular shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Shameless. He's no stranger to the UAE, having performed at many venues across the country. He also starred as the title character in the award-winning indie comedy film Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero, which he co-wrote and co-produced.

Tom Segura

When: May 25 at 6pm

Segura, one of the biggest names in the business, is known for his Netflix specials including Ball Hog and Disgraceful. In July 2022, he released his New York Times bestselling book, I’d Like To Play Alone, Please.

Chris Tucker

When: May 25 at 9.30pm

Tucker was last in Abu Dhabi in 2013 when he performed two shows. He is best known for his role in the Rush Hour film series alongside Jackie Chan. However, it was his trademark squeaky voice and celebrity impersonations that made him a regular performer in the Def Comedy Jam television series in the early 1990s.

Joy Ko

When: May 26 at 8pm

Koy, a regular performer in the UAE, is known for his relatable comedy, pulling inspiration from his family. From his modest beginnings performing in a Las Vegas coffee house, he is now one of the top names in comedy, with four Netflix specials, an autobiography and a Billboard No 1 for his stand-up comedy album, Live From Seattle.

More information at etihadarena.ae

Updated: March 30, 2024, 12:09 PM