For fans of Russell Peters, Trevor Noah, and Mark Critch comes a hilarious debut memoir about life growing up on the outside and finding one’s place in the world, by stand-up comic and popular CBC host, Ali Hassan.
Growing up, Ali Hassan was a chameleon. His friends came from many different backgrounds and religions—Trinidadian, Parsi, Goan, Hindu, Christian, Sikh. And as a hockey-playing, crockpot-using young man who also knew the words to at least ten Neil Young songs, he could blend in everywhere. But the world has a funny way of reminding you who you are, and his Muslim Pakistani family and community did, too.
In this hilarious and insightful memoir based on his hit stand-up comedy, Hassan shares his life-long journey to becoming a cultural Muslim—learning to walk the line of embracing his heritage while still following his passions. From failing to learn Arabic—or much of anything, really—in Sunday school and visiting family in Pakistan (who mocked him constantly) to discovering the wonders of pepperoni as a teenager and being a celebrity judge at Ribfest, Hassan finds himself in compromising situations that challenge his beliefs and very identity. And along the way, his friends and family are there to either encourage or criticize, something he finds eternally confusing.
Now, as a father of four, Hassan must explain his point of view to his children. But he can’t just “give them” an identity as a cultural Muslim. Sharing his story is the next best thing.
Entertaining and heartfelt, this debut showcases why Hassan is one of Canada’s most popular comedians, as he explores that deep need that exists in us all: to belong.
Ali Hassan is a stand-up comic, actor, host, and professional chef who has performed on stages across Canada and the world. He is the host of CBC’s Canada Reads, as well as Laugh Out Loud on CBC Radio and SiriusXM. He is also a frequent guest host of q, CBC’s premiere national arts and entertainment show.
His comedy has been performed at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and Toronto’s JFL42. A Canadian Comedy Award nominee, his solo show, Muslim, Interrupted, was performed at the world’s largest comedy festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
He has appeared in three award-winning films, Breakaway, French Immersion, and as the memorable Lebanese “Uncle Stevie” opposite Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, and Eugene Levy in the hockey hit Goon, in addition to other film and TV roles. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his family. Follow him on Twitter @StandUpAli and find him at StandUpAli.com.
“Laugh-out-loud funny and filled with so much heart. Ali Hassan hooked me in with his honest and charming approach to all of life’s ups and downs. I deeply resonated with his story and couldn’t stop smiling while reading it.” — ANDREW PHUNG, award-winning actor and star of Run the Burbs and Kim’s Convenience
“I already knew that Ali Hassan is funny and thoughtful and charming; now I can add talented author to that list. What a wonderful book! The pleasure of a beautifully written memoir mixed with the compassionate, intelligent humour that is always Ali’s trademark. And the food—someday I will get Ali to make me a meal. Until then I will just have to re-read this.” — AURORA BROWNE, actress and comedian, Baroness von Sketch Show