In their stand-up comedy show, “Fear of a Brown Planet,” Australians Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain challenge racism by making it the subject of humor. The collaborative show features stories about what the comedians and other people of color face on a regular basis.
“‘You have a bit of an accent, where are you from?’ Umm. I came here for a burger, not to discuss the complex history of my family’s migration,” joked Rahman recently on Twitter. And, in a stand-up routine: “Once, I walked into a cafe and a woman in the back corner of the cafe saw me and instinctively started clutching her purse, you know, because I was going to steal it with my 10-meter bionic arm—go, go gadget bag snatcher.”
Everyday insensitivities and microaggressions are regularly lampooned with Rahman and Hussain’s weapon of choice: comedy. They also take on school bullying, mob violence, and police brutality. Whether told with Hussain’s goofy energy or Rahman’s sardonic wit, their stories help raise awareness and make people realize they’re not alone in confronting racism. First performed in 2007, “Brown Planet” was so successful that Rahman and Hussain have created a few sequels—”Fear of a Brown Planet Returns” and “Fear of a Brown Planet Attacks.”