The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Local comedian finds popularity

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Mic in hand, the 22-year-old comedian runs through his childhood nicknames.

“Charcoal,” he says to laughter. “Dirty barbecue.”

Staring into the crowd, Usama Siddiquee good-naturedly picks on the college boys sitting upfront.

“You’re this close to joining a fraternity, aren’t you?” he teases.

The crowd chuckles harder.

Grinning, Siddiquee closes with a confession: he is not a good Muslim.

“I don’t go to the mosque, I don’t pray five times a day,” he says.

“I don’t even hate Jews.”

The man waving a flashlight in the dimly-lit room signals Siddiquee to leave the stage.

The audience claps as the comedian steps out of the Backdoor Comedy Club on N. Central Expressway for another gig.

It’s just another night for one of Dallas’ hot new comedians.

Siddiquee has found success early in his two-year career.

Since his start in 2011, the comedian has won numerous awards, including semi-finalist in the 2011 Funniest Comic in Texas and finalist in the 2012 Frisco Comedy Festival.

The Bengali-American found comedy as a college junior.

“In college, so many influences come at you and then you change so much,” Siddiquee said.

“That’s what happened in college. I met so many people and decided ‘I want to be that guy who makes people laugh.’”

After much arm-twisting, fellow comedian Nimesh Patel convinced Siddiquee to try open mic at Hyena’s Comedy Club.

On Aug. 27, 2011, the comedian walked onstage with five minutes of “straight Osama Bin Laden material.”

He was certain the crowd would mercilessly boo him.

To his surprise, the crowd cheered him – he’d killed his set. Siddiquee said he left the club that night with a “magical feeling.”

“When someone finds that element that makes his soul sing, that sounds gay, whatever, but that rumbles to your core – that’s what happened to me,” Siddiquee said.

Hooked on the stage, Siddiquee immersed himself into comedy.

He took improv classes, graduating levels 1 through 5 while studying acting.

Siddiquee also starred in the short-lived web series “Work Related” as a beatboxer, one of his other talents.

Comedian Rachel Hall will say it’s hard to pin down Siddiquee’s character.

“Brown, sarcastic, intimidating,” Hall said. “Usama [Siddiquee] is a man of many talents and he absolutely kills at improv.”

Standup comedy is the main focus for Siddiquee, though.

The comedian devotes two hours a day to writing material. Modest, he’ll tell you he’s still figuring out his act.

“It takes a long time to find your voice,” Siddiquee said.

“My voice is still shifting because it takes 10 years to develop a truly distinct one. I’m still working towards that.”

Siddiquee insists on basing his comedy on himself rather than cliches or stereotypes.

“You have to look within yourself,” Siddiquee said. “That’s the fastest way to find your voice, to not do comedy as you see it, but do comedy as an art form and do it from within.”

Comedian and writing partner Nimesh Patel admires his friend’s devotion to his craft.

“He is very detail oriented and it shows in his comedy,” Patel said. “The dude doesn’t stop thinking of new things and he always finds a way to flesh them out. [Siddiquee is the] best partner you could ask for.”

Siddiquee values shamelessness in his work.

Access Siddiquee’s YouTube channel “UsamaBinLaughin” to see him mock everything from his impoverished Bangladesh to his bullying pre-adolescent cousin.

“Comedy is comedy, man,” Siddiquee said.

“You just do it. If you have societal trappings, your comedy is going to show that. If something’s funny in front of you, you capitalize on it. That’s how you do it. If you don’t do it, then you won’t engage in that funny thing. If you want to go to the depths of your soul, being shameless is a part of it.”

The comedian also admits to a certain need for attention, but accepts this as healthy.

“Every comedian has this mix of selfless and selfish desires,” Siddiquee said. “I want to make people laugh, and if I make people laugh, people will like me.”

Currently, Siddiquee is on academic leave from medical school to focus on his comedy full time.

His parents were not thrilled with this news. His mother overheard Siddiquee telling his father on Mother’s Day and ripped up the teddy bear he had given her.

Siddiquee isn’t worried, though.

“I know once they’re dead that I’ll be living with my choices,” Siddiquee said. “I do not want to live in a life where I did not choose my own path.”

Siddiquee spends his days working in a doctor’s office while performing at night. Unapologetically, he continues to follow his interests.

“If you love the art, just do it,” he said.

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