|Born||New Haven, Connecticut, United States|
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film, radio|
|Genres||Observational comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||American politics, Iranian culture, feminism, racism, current events, political satire|
Negin Farsad is an American comedian, actress, writer and filmmaker of Iranian descent based in New York City.
Farsad was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and she was raised in the Southern California resort community of Palm Springs. With aspirations for a career in politics, she attended Cornell University in upstate New York and majored in government, as well as theater arts. Upon graduating in 1998, she moved to New York City to attend Columbia University for grad school, earning master's degrees in race relations, and one from the School of International and Public Affairs with an emphasis on urban management. She began working for New York City as a policy advisor to the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Working during the day, she would write and perform comedy in the evenings. After more than a year in her role as a policy advisor, Farsad decided to leave her job with the city and pursue a career in entertainment. She created her own production company, Vaguely Qualified Productions and committed herself full-time to her creative endeavors.
Named by HuffPost as one their "50 Funniest Women" in 2011, her comedic routines often feature her frank and sharp-witted views on politics, sex and her experiences navigating the cultural dynamics of her Iranian- born family. In 2012 the Huffington Post named her on their "53 Of Our Favorite Female Comedians" article. She was also selected as a TED Fellow and gave a TED Talk in 2013 for her work in social justice comedy.
Farsad has performed for national and international audiences and has opened for the likes of Al Franken, Bobby Lee and Colin Quinn. In 2012, she was once again recognized by The Huffington Post as one of "18 Funny Women You Should Be Following on Twitter". Her solo show Bootleg Islam, which she wrote and performed, appeared in the DC, Dallas, and Chicago Comedy Festivals among others. Her first ever musical, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Romantic Comedy, premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival.
The Muslims Are Coming! - Farsad directed the documentary with fellow comedian and filmmaker Dean Obeidallah. The film, which follows a group of comedians touring through the South and Midwest U.S., focuses on Islamophobia through the lens of comedy. Featuring interviews with a diverse cast of everyday citizens, religious leaders and celebrities, such as The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, comedians David Cross, Janeane Garafalo, Colin Quinn, and national news personalities Rachel Maddow and Soledad O'Brien.
Nerdcore Rising - Farsad's first feature length directorial effort is a documentary/concert film directed and produced by Farsad starring Damian Hess, a.k.a. MC Frontalot, and various other nerdcore hip hop artists such as mc chris, Optimus Rhyme and MC Lars with contributors such as "Weird Al" Yankovic, Prince Paul and Brian Posehn. The film premiered at the 2008 South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas to sold-out screenings and critical praise; "hilarious and delightful", Salon.com Best of Fest pick, "laugh riot from the first scene", Boston Herald, "charming and insightful...touching, funny, and awkward", Portland Mercury, "honest and heartfelt.", Wired Magazine.
3rd Street Blackout - Farsad co-directed and starred in this romantic comedy along with Jeremy Redleaf. It follows a technology-obsessed couple that is forced to cope without their devices during a blackout post-Hurricane Sandy. It also stars Ed Weeks, Phyllis Somerville, Jordan Carlos, Janeane Garofalo, John Hodgman, and Sasheer Zamata. It premiered at the LA Film Festival in 2015.
She produced, directed and performed in the Comedy Central series, The Watch List, the first show in the history of television to feature Middle-Eastern American comics tackling international political issues. Other notable writing credits include MTV's web and television show Detox and the PBS animated show 1001 Nights. She has also served as on-air correspondent for IFCs coverage of the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival, made multiple guest appearances on HLNs Joy Behar Show, and was a regular contributor to the Current TV program, The Young Turks.
Farsad has been hosting the Fake the Nation podcast since July 2016. She appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor podcast on November 15, 2016. Starting in early 2017, Farsad has appeared several times as a panelist on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!
Farsad released her first book in 2016 entitled How to Make White People Laugh.