I recently caught up with stand-up comedian Amir K. The Orange County native of Iranian descent got his start into comedy a little late but is making up for lost time. At his eight-year mark he is still building a name for himself but has accomplished a lot in that timeframe. He spoke about one of the reasons he got into comedy so late because of his fears of disappointing his parents who were immigrants with his career choice and instead opted for a career in real estate. Once the real estate bubble burst he was able to truly pursue his passion of stand-up comedy.
How did you settle on the name Amir K?
The first part I was born with so I kept that, the second, K is interesting, when I first started stand-up, my last name is Kamyab. When I started stand-up I’d go to this comedy club called the HaHa and I started and I’d sign up all the time and the host would grab the mic and couldn’t pronounce my name and it got annoying. A little while after I started doing open mic regularly and they put my name on the marquee and it said “So Funny Sundays With Amir K” because they couldn’t fit the rest of my name on the marquee, so all the younger comedians started calling me Amir K and it just stuck and I went with it.
Did you have any trepidation about pursuing a career in comedy?
Give me one second to look up trepidation and I’ll get back to you, I’m kidding. I always wanted to get to comedy at some point, that was my passion always. The goal was to end up doing stand-up somehow or performing, in a funny way somehow. So like over the years I just kept making excuses not to do stand-up cause I had done it a couple times when I was eighteen, I went to a couple open mics. I had to go to school cause of my parents and shit and do all that stuff, I didn’t want to disappoint them, they immigrated to this country and some weird thing in the back of my head was like “don’t let your parents down, do the school route”. They wanted me to be successful in a different field, because stand-up isn’t a viable option in Iran, I couldn’t even tell them about it. Their was a bit of hesitation before I was a full adult but after college was done my dad moved back to Iran and I didn’t have to ask anyone by that point.
Being of Iranian descent were their any Iranian comics to look up to growing up?
Obviously Maz Jobrani that’s one. It was Dan Ahdoot, I couldn’t watch Comedy Central when I was doing the real estate thing cause it would bother me that I wasn’t doing stand-up. Dan is my friend now, I told him this story he was the last comic I had watched, he’s Persian and he’s doing this, what am I doing? I knew about Maz from Axis of Evil, the cool thing is that when I started doing comedy he heard about me and I met him at the Comedy Store and he bought me on tour with him as an opening act which was cool because he is the one Iranian comedian that everyone, even my parents know. I learned a lot from him.
What do you think about Trump’s muslim ban?
It’s so random, it’s not gonna go through for sure. It was frustrating when it was happening because my dad lives in Iran and he comes and goes once a year, and that would screw that up and it would just be horrible not just for me but all these good people who have families. It’s un-American. It’s no way with the check and balances in place that this is even a feasible option of something that is going to happen.
What’s next for Amir K?
Another show, (laughs). Keep doing it, I’m very new for as far as comedy is concerned. I have so much more work to do. Get better and better, until I’m ready to do my special. Create more and more of an audience based off my material which should be getting better and better over the years.
Check out more of Amir K on his website: http://amircomedy.com