By: Nudrat Mustafa
Jeremy McLellan is an American Christian stand-up comedian based in Charleston, South Carolina. He has been named as one of the “New Faces of Comedy” by Just for Laughs. He’s a frequent visitor of Pakistan and has a wide fan base in the country as a result. Take a look at what he had to say to the Social Diary Magazine.
- Please tell us about your background, education, family, dob.
Born in Charleston, SC, youngest of three boys, 33 years old, majored in history at Covenant College, worked with people with intellectual disabilities until the age of 30.
- How have you developed humour in your personality?
I think I’m naturally funny, but humor is also a skill that can be learned. You need to be smart and empathic, and pay attention to what you find funny, what other people find funny, and when those overlap.
- What drew your attention towards this as a profession and giving social welfare messages through it too?
I was already interested in speaking my mind and doing good work in the world, so when I became a comedian I channeled it through my work.
- Hurdles in any field cannot be ignored. What difficulties you have to face in Pakistan, keeping in mind your distinctive profession?
The biggest hurdle is probably getting a visa (haha) but the language barrier is also tough. I’m trying to learn Urdu but I’m still very much a beginner, and sometimes it’s hard to communicate, but that can also be an occasion for funny stories.
- Whom do you take inspiration from?
- You are very vocal about your opinion about celebrities/ politicians. Did anyone ever threat you or any spat worth sharing?
People threaten me all the time online (usually when I say anything about India) but thankfully none of it has translated to any real life altercations. Hoping to keep it that way.
- Similarly, any nasty comment or feedback by any celebrity?
- How do you tackle critics and their cynicism?
I listen to them. Sometimes when a criticism hurts it’s because it’s true, so you don’t want to block out feedback entirely or you’ll never grow. But I try to keep in mind
- Describe your typical work routine.
I wish I had a routine. Really it’s just chaos, getting into arguments, reading, writing things down.
- Time to get philosophical: What’s the most important “big idea” that you’ve learned in life – in or out of comics – and why is it important?
Love means “to will the good of the other” and that applies to loving ourselves too. We have to want what’s best for ourselves in every area of our lives. This is harder than it sounds. I’m not very good at it.
- A lot of people want to know the secret behind loving Pakistan this much? What do you find distinctive about it?
Well I’ve known Pakistanis and Muslims my whole life, particularly when I worked with people with disabilities, and I’ve always loved the devotion, the food, the family structure, the grit, and the hospitality.
- Any life hack you want to share with your fans through the platform of our magazine?
Learn to find what’s funny in everything—even tragedy—and the world will open up to you in ways you can’t imagine.