Negin Farsad is an American comedian, actor, writer and filmmaker of Iranian descent based in New York City. Like most comedians, she has a Masters Degree in African-American Studies. She was named one of the 53 Funniest Women by the Huffington Post, one of 10 Feminist Comedians to Watch by Paper Magazine, and was selected as a TEDFellow for her work in social justice comedy. She has written for/appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, PBS, IFC, Nickelodeon and others.
She is director/producer of the feature films Nerdcore Rising, starring Weird Al Yankovic, and The Muslims Are Coming! starring Jon Stewart, David Cross and Lewis Black (both available on Netflix). Her latest film 3rd Street Blackout, starring Janeane Garofalo and Ed Weeks was released in April 2016. Her first book How to Make White People Laugh (Grand Central, a division of Hachette) is out now.
What’s the hardest scene or project you’ve ever had to write? How did you navigate the challenge? I think it’s hard to write sincere declarations of emotion. As a comedian, we’re kind of dead inside, so writing those moments where a character uses words like “love” and “feelings” just makes me vomit a little. The good news is, there’s not much cheese in my work. The bad news is, the characters still have to say some real shit sometimes so I can’t avoid it. It makes me squirm but I do it.
What’s your favorite movie? Tough question. I don’t think I can say definitively what my favorite movie is but I can say that when I was a bit younger and saw Me and You and Everyone We Know by Miranda July, I thought, “this is the kind of movie that makes my heart sing.” Yeah, sometimes I say cheesy shit in my head. But the tone and perspective and the fact that July is an unapologetic, completely singular voice, and one who works in so many media, that gave me the push I needed to think of myself as a filmmaker.