Reviews on new material are something comedians such as Ahmed Ahmed come to expect following performances. One guest in the crowd of his May 12 performance at the Off The Hook Comedy Club in Naples, Florida, however, threw him for a loop.
According to CNN, a man who attended Ahmed’s show called 911 to complain about how “uncomfortable” he felt when the comedian inquired who was from the Middle East in the audience.
“And a whole bunch of people raised their hand. And he said where are you from? I’m from Iraq, I’m from Iran. I’m from Pakistan. I’m from here, I’m from there. He said, ‘That’s great. We could organize our own little terrorist organization,'” the caller explained during the call released by Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
Describing Ahmed as Middle Eastern during the phone call, the Florida man went on to reveal he was not only nervous for his life, but he feared the comedian would continue to ask the same question at future performances.
Brien Spina, the owner of the Florida comedy club, told CNN he was shocked when police showed up at the club to investigate the phone call.
“I don’t know why they stayed for the whole show. [Ahmed] is probably more straight down the road compared to other comedians. His material isn’t meant to be offensive. It’s just funny,” Spina said.
— Off The Hook Comedy (@OTHComedyClub) May 15, 2019
Ahmed has since taken to Twitter to inform his 25,300 followers that the caller misquoted him.
With a little over 30 individuals taking to the comments of his tweet, many jested that they weren’t surprised to learn it was a “Florida man” who made the call. Others added that it was definitely the kind of thing you expected from Florida.
Naples Daily News reports the incident has shone a bright spotlight on the comedy club, as reporters across many media outlets have circled both the owner of Off The Hook and Ahmed himself for a little insight on what happened that night.
A video posted on Ahmed’s Facebook page shows himself talking to the owner and several police officers. One police officer tells the comedian he shouldn’t change his set or his jokes after what happened. The officers also thanked the comedian and the owner for acting so professionally following the phone call.
The owner admitted that even he wasn’t sure what was going on or how to handle the situation. Despite being a comedy club owner for over two decades, he’d never had a guest call the cops because of a performance before.
The comedian jested toward the end of the video that he would absolutely be using the incident in future skits because it wasn’t the kind of thing you could make up.
Ahmed has continued to share various stories about the incident on social media, as his fans rave about how insane they believe it is that someone called 911 on his joke in the first place.