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The united stage

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2003-10-22

Ahmed Ahmed and Bob Alper

Comedy duo Ahmed Ahmed and Bob Alper

An American Rabbi and a Muslim actor who joined forces to celebrate their cultural diversity on stage through comedy are the subject of a BBC One documentary which looks at Muslims in America.

In Me & Uncle Sam, (BBC One Monday 27 October 11.30pm)Egyptian-born Ahmed Ahmed and  Rabbi Bob Alper are shown together and reveal how the two men joined forces.

The idea for the Muslim/Jewish comedy duo came as both men felt their needed to be some unity between their faiths and to show that there is a way to celebrate their differences and also how they are similar as well.

The reform ordained Rabbi has offered spiritual support to a number of synagogues now performs over 100 comedy gigs a year and while he does not have a full-time congregation, does the high holidays services at a synagogue in Philadelphia,

Since the two comics joined forces, their comedy routine has been performed in synagogues, mosques and community centres.

According to Ahmed, Jews and Muslims have much in common. "We're both hairy creatures of God," one of his gags go. "The major difference is that Jews don't like to spend any money and Muslims never have any money to spend. … So let's all get along and share, people."

At the end of the programme, Rabbi Alper says of sharing the stage with Ahmed: "Laughter is great, it's spiritually uplifting, and it's better for people to see the two of us and get the chemistry.  That's the message and it's a very powerful message I think."

Related links:

Rabbi Bob Alper