Behind the scenes, he brings the laughter
By Nick A. Zaino III, Globe Correspondent | March 24, 2006
Faith in comedy: The biggest difference between Rabbi Bob Alper and Ahmed Ahmed, the comedians of ''One Muslim. One Jew," which was at Berklee recently, lies more in the comic delivery than the message. Alper is squeaky clean, with the deliberate cadence of a man who spent 40 years honing his humor from the pulpit. Ahmed Ahmed is a club comic with an animated style who sprinkles in obscenities and statements that border on blasphemous. Each took different routes to the same laughter two Sundays ago at the Berklee Performance Center.
Considering how much of Alper and Ahmed's material centers on faith, it's surprising how little of it is politically charged. Alper, 61, speaks from the point of view of a mild-mannered rabbi and father befuddled by his kids and congregation. Ahmed, 33, is an Egyptian-born Muslim comedian trying to make it in Hollywood. But as Alper noted after the show, his observational goofiness is the perfect complement to Ahmed's edgier act, part of the reason they have logged more than 90 shows together since 2002. That the audience at the Berklee could laugh at both was the duo's most impressive feat.