WANT TO GO?
Ashar Usman, at Cafe A La Fikr Comedy Night
WHERE: Civic Center Little Theater
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday
TICKETS: Advance $26.50, day of the show $36.50
INFO: Call 304-345-1500 or visit www.charlestonwvciviccenter.com_____
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some comedians might feel a little intimidated to be performing a show on the same night, in the same city and just a short walk down the street from comic giant Jerry Seinfeld.
Seinfeld is a household name, a gigantic star even though he hasn't done a whole lot lately (besides his web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee"). He's at the Municipal Auditorium Friday night.
Meanwhile, down the way at the Civic Center Little Theater, there's Muslim comedian, Azhar Usman. Usman is not a household name; he doesn't have a television show, a book deal or even a HBO comedy special.
And he's not afraid of Jerry Seinfeld.
In fact, Usman said, "I'm pretty excited to be doing a show on the same night, in the same city, at basically the same venue as Seinfeld. Oh, wow, I'd love to meet him!"
Usman's love of the New York comedian borders on the obsessive.
"I've studied him, his standup. I've read his interviews."
The family-friendly comic knows a lot about Seinfeld. Usman said one of things that impressed him about Seinfeld is he heard Seinfeld practices Zen meditation.
"I don't know if he's an actual Zen Buddhist," Usman said. "But his comedy is reflective. There's a lot about the search for wisdom in him. I heard that someone once asked him about comedy and he said he saw it as a journey into self. I mean, wow. That's amazing."
Pretty clearly, Usman is the underdog in Friday night's comedy matchup. Even he's a fan of the other guy. Regardless, if you don't already have tickets to see Seinfeld, he'd love it if you'd come to his show.
Usman's got into comedy in what might be considered the usual way.