The next juror in our spotlight is comedian, writer, and actor Maz Jobrani. One of the founding members of The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, Maz performs standup comedy all over the world and has appeared a number of popular television shows and movies including Better off Ted,Curb Your Enthusiasm, 24, True Blood, and Shameless. Maz is also a regular on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and recently released his Los Angeles Times Bestselling book I’m Not a Terrorist But I’ve Played One On TV, which you can purchase here. In 2014, Maz won Austin Film Festival’s first ever Comedy Vanguard Jury Award along with co-writer Amir Ohebsion for his feature film Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero. Now the tables have turned as he comes back to AFF as a juror for the very category he won last year. Maz’s experience, sensibilities, and passion for comedy will be a valuable asset for the Comedy Vanguard jury. Learn more about Maz below and check out all of our confirmed jurors here.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up around 7:30am to help see the kids off to school. Sometimes I’m so tired I walk out to the car in my underwear to strap them into their car seats. The neighbors seem to have gotten used to it. Then I go back to nap a little bit and get up closer to 9:30am. From there I’m usually off for a workout and then some meetings. The kids get back around 3 or 4 and I basically entertain them till 7 or 8 when they’re asleep. Then it’s some time with my wife and I’m off to the comedy clubs to work on material. (That’s my schedule when I’m not touring.)
What’s the best part of your job?
I love every part of my job except for the traveling. As a standup comedian I get to be on stage and talk about what’s on my mind and hopefully have others laugh with me. Being away from my family is tough, but I’ve been able to work it out where I go away only for a few days and I’m back.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
Well there are the classics – The Godfather, Dr. Strangelove, Star Wars, Forrest Gump, Caddy Shack, A Fish Called Wanda, The Pink Panther with Peter Sellers. The latest one that I saw that I really loved was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by Ben Stiller. I thought it was very funny and it has some great life lessons in there as well.
Who’s your favorite writer and why?
Hmmm. I’m a big fan of Oliver Stone’s (I enjoy most of his films and his political take on stuff.) I’m sure there’s a ton of other writers I love, but I can’t think of them right now.
What’s your favorite part about Austin Film Festival?
I love the city and the organizers treated us so well. It was a pleasure to be there last year and I’m just bummed I couldn’t spend more time. (See question number 2 above regarding being home with the kids.)
What was your first job or worst job?
My first job ever was a paper route. I held it for about a month until I was told that I had to collect payment from the subscribers in order to get paid. One of the subscribers didn’t want to pay me and he was kind of old and mean. That’s when I decided it was not worth it to do the job if I wasn’t going to get paid.