Nothing is sacred for atheist funnyman

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
RIGHT: Sami Shah will pull no punches in his Busselton Fringe stand-up comedy show.Picture: supplied
Camera IconRIGHT: Sami Shah will pull no punches in his Busselton Fringe stand-up comedy show.Picture: supplied

Pakistani-Australian comedian Sami Shah is not afraid to tell it like it is.

The fast-talking comedian will perform at Busselton Fringe fresh from a Radio National series on freedom of speech entitled Shut Up.

The open atheist said he channelled his rage at religious oppression into comedy, which was rare. “My parents certainly don’t like it,” he said.

“Recently, I got married for the second time, which you do, and my wife is white and I’m not, so there is a lot to consider at a multicultural wedding.

“The show has a lot of relationship foibles, as seen through my bizarre life.”

Shah became famous for his cynical and harsh grasp of reality, which he transforms to comedy with ironic brutality.

“The work that I like and comedians I respect are ones who have interesting things to say. I think comedy plays an important role in social commentary,” he said.

“That’s why I like stand-up comedy; you can say things that people would not dare to say. No one likes comedy if it’s safe and predictable.”

Shah recently released a novel, The Islamic Republic of Australia, and said a lot of his live show was built around his experiences in Australia, especially WA.

“I’m super excited about coming back to Busselton; I used to live in Northam and I think WA audiences are by far my favourite in the world,” he said.

“If you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, you have to tone down things to be quite politically correct and if you’re in Adelaide or Brisbane, you have to say every-thing with one syllable because that’s all that much of the audience can understand. In WA, you have small audiences but they’re always up for a good time and will laugh at anything, no matter how obscene.”

The busy comedian described himself as a “workaholic” with a philosophy similar to a shark swimming — if he was not working, he would die.

Sami Shah will perform at the Esplanade Hotel from January 13-16. Tickets are available via

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