ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Eight years ago, British-Kurdish stand-up comedian Kae Kurd tweeted that, one day, he would be “Live at the Apollo.” This week he did just that - giving his first performance on the famous BBC stand-up comedy show, filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo Theatre in West London.
In March 2011, Kae Kurd wasn’t even performing on stage yet “when that tweet was put out, so it was all the more surprising,” he told Kurdistan 24.
I will be on Live at the Apollo one day!— Kae Kurd (@KaeKurd) March 5, 2011
“This time last year I didn’t think this was possible - but I went harder then I usually do and here I am, performing for the biggest stand up comedy show in the country tonight,” Kae Kurd tweeted again on Thursday after the show.
“Don’t give up on your dreams. Thanks to all of you who have ever watched me and shared my stuff.”
This time last year I didn’t think this was possible - but I went harder then I usually do and here I am, performing for the biggest stand up comedy show in the country tonight - don’t give up on your dreams. Thanks to all of you who have ever watched me and shared my stuff. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2CCYpkIIk9— Kae Kurd (@KaeKurd) September 12, 2019
The pre-recorded show will be aired sometime in either November or December.
His achievement received much praise from other British comedians on Twitter, including Jimmy James Jones, a comedian and radio presenter who said he was inspired by Kae Kurd.
“[He] invested in himself, years of hard work, and now.... live at the apollo... Super proud of the bro, and take no shame in saying I’m seeing how he did it and taking his work ethic and doing the same!!”
Stand-up comedian Sezar Alkassab said referring to the initial 2011 posting, “Some tweets age like wine. This is one of them. Well done,”
The BBC’s show featuring comedians is broadcast worldwide, and it was a “big achievement for me because it’s something that most comedians in the UK want”, Kae Kurd told Kurdistan 24.
“It was exciting and emotional, to be honest. It was a bit surreal.”
In addition to kudos he received from his colleagues, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Qubad Talabani also tweeted "Proud of you."
Kae Kurd, the UK's only professional stand-up comedian who comes from a Kurdish background, started performing in 2011, the year of the fateful post.
His stage name is derived from a time when his fellow students in school could not pronounce his given name, Korang Abdulla, and instead would say, “K, he’s a Kurd.” He eventually made the name his own, appropriating it as “Kae Kurd.”
In his work, he tells a variety of jokes which range from the Kurdish fight against the so-called Islamic State, the general refugee crisis, growing up as a Kurd in the UK, Brexit, to pop culture.
“I think as long as I can make something funny, no matter how serious the issue, I will always write jokes about it,” Kae told in Kurdistan 24 in an earlier interview.
His parents were born and raised in the Kurdistan Region’s Sulaimani province. He said that his father, Jaza, and uncles, Halo and Barzan, were Peshmerga who fought for Kurdish rights against the former Iraqi regime under dictator Saddam Hussein.
In 1988, his family fled to the city of Saqqez in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat) when his father suffered mustard gas poisoning in battle. When his parents heard that the UK was accepting refugees in 1990, they got on a plane with Kae and moved there, where his father received proper treatment for his lungs.
In the future, Kae Kurd told Kurdistan 24 that he’s aiming even higher - to have his own TV show.
“I want to act; I want to be global, but all in good time.”
Editing by John J. Catherine