The Comedians

The Comedians gives context to the diverse emerging voices in comedy, making the personal feel hilariously universal.

Black and white photo of comedian, TJ (Tanael Joachim)
Funding Initiative
Short-Form Series and Special Projects
filmmaker Habib Yazdi

Habib Yazdi

Habib Yazdi is an Iranian-American writer/director. He has collaborated with bands and brands and was the digital director for National Geographic’s Emmy-nominated Brain Games. Habib’s film Somewhere in America #MIPSTERZ sparked debate about American Muslim identity and was featured in media and museums worldwide.

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The Film

Because shared laughter can be immediately disarming, comedy serves as a profound bridge, creating bonds between people believed to be fundamentally different from each other. Successful comedians have a knack for making the personal feel universal, weaving tales from individual experiences into humorous anecdotes that spark laughter and provoke thought in equal measure. However, audiences rarely get a glimpse into comedians’ backstories, left instead to make inferences and assumptions based on the jokes they hear. The Comedians gives context to emerging voices in comedy from culturally diverse communities throughout the United States, showcasing artists’ stand-up sets along with visuals from their hometowns and their families. Sharing insights into their formative years and their creative exploration allows rising comedians to engage with audiences in ways both intimate and introspective. While their jokes still strike a chord with audiences from all walks of life, knowing their particular stories gives a personal framework for their comedy and a finer appreciation of how they’ve honed their craft.