Comedians often say over-the-top things in order to get a rise out of audience members. Typically those comments are met with audible groans or laughter, but one audience member and his wife, who were given free tickets to the show, called 911 after a joke about Muslims made them feel “uncomfortable.” Yup, this is the world we live in.
Standup comic Ahmed Ahmed was performing a show in Naples, Florida where he told a joke he has told over a thousand times. “Clap if you’re from the Middle East,” he said as he was met with a few claps. “All right. We got a handful of us in here, nice. But, hey, it only takes one of us … to tell a joke.”
Ahmed, who is of Middle Eastern descent, said the joke was met with laughter from the audience, but, apparently, not everyone was laughing. According to Fox News, an unnamed man and his wife called Collier County Sheriff’s Department to report Ahmed for starting a terrorist cell.
The call was so outrageous that the police department released the audio of the call where the man can be heard telling the operator: “He said, `That’s great.’ He said, `We can organize our own little terrorist organization,’ and I don’t think that was right. I mean it really bothered me.”
The man then was expecting a pat on the back after he told the operator: “And I yelled out, `And the paddy wagon is going to be outside to get all of you.'”
The caller claimed the act made him and his wife “very uncomfortable.” NBC News reported local law enforcement came to the club the following day to speak with the comedian. “I’ve told that joke about 1,000 times around the world,” Ahmed said. “Whatever he heard and what I said are two different things.”
To further dispell the outlandish notion that he was a terrorist, he pointed out to the officers he takes pictures and meets fans after each show. “Terrorists don’t do meet-and-greets,” the comic said. “We don’t say, `Death to America!’ and then, `But wait, let’s do selfies first.'”
Ahmed said the officers who came to the comedy club were great. “They couldn’t have been nicer,” Ahmed said. “One of them said, `Don’t change anything, keep doing what you’re doing.’ That was refreshing to hear.”
Club owner Brien Spina told NBC News he is backing his comedians, especially Ahmed. “For me it was a great joke. I stand behind him,” Spina said. “His show is great.”
The video below has the 911 call. It’s only the first few minutes of the clip.