Khalid Rahmaan is a terrible driver, a delusional Knicks fan and a Brooklyn-based stand-up comic. He made his late night debut on CONAN in 2017 and Thrillist recently named him one of the 50 Best Undiscovered Comedians in America. When he’s not on stage, you can usually find Khalid writing funny things for other folks to say. He’s written for HQ Trivia, the NAACP Image Awards, Impractical Jokers and the live music trivia app Out of Tune. Every first Tuesday, Khalid hosts Comedy Ting, a digital comedy show that raises money for social justice organizations. Check Khalid out live on stage all over the place and even at Secret Comedy shows, if you’re cool. He promises he doesn’t usually speak in the third person.
He's on our show on tonight with Kelly Bachman & Jay Washington.
We caught up with him to ask a few ridiculous questions.
asembl: How long have you been doing standup comedy?
KR: 8 years.
asembl: What’s the best gig you ever had? The worst?
Best: I did a half hour for a sold out charity show near Syracuse and it was just about perfect. Paid well, eager appreciative crowd, great hang after.
Worst: I featured for a French Canadian headliner at Caroline’s one weekend. 5 shows. I bombed so bad on the first two shows that I started to wonder if the crowd didn’t speak English or it was just me. Brutal. Did ok on the last three though.
asembl: A lot of comics have been doing outdoor gigs since the pandemic struck. If you’ve done any, how terrible has that been?
KR: False premise. Many of the outdoor shows have been excellent. Standups have shown a remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. I’ve had super hot sets on rooftops, in backyards, in parks and on random sidewalks. I even started my own ticketed backyard comedy show (@secretcomedyshow on IG). It’s a whole vibe and we’re gonna hopefully keep it going every Monday even when things get back to “normal”. These talent-driven independent rooms and shows are ultimately what will rebuild comedy.
asembl: Other than yourself, name a comedian that nobody knows today but you think everybody will know in two years.
KR: There’s pretty much no such thing as “everybody” in that context anymore. The media landscape is too niche. The comics who were famous before social media like Kevin Hart are famous in a way that new people can never hope to be. That being said, Nore Davis, LeClerc Andre and Charles McBee are criminally underrated.
asembl: What early trauma was most influential in bringing you to stand up comedy?
KR: My step-parents are garbage humans.
asembl: Which comics have influenced you the most?
KR: Aziz Ansari, Hannibal Buress, Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy and Moshe Kasher.
asembl: Which of the following is the threshold at which you consider a gig to be well paid?
o Having to pay to perform.
o Not getting anything.
o Few free drinks.
o Any money at all.
o $20 or more.
KR: It depends on the budget. Jokes are currency, so I'm fine doing a free show for to work on jokes. If I'm booked on a show that is ticketed or televised for profit, I expect to be compensated fairly.
asembl: How has the pandemic impacted you creatively? Are you writing more, less or the same now?
KR: Overall, it’s been positive. I feel more motivated to be as reckless and free on stage than ever, because I know it could all disappear and I’d be just fine.
asembl: How have you adjusted to Zoom therapy / AA / etc.?
KR: I did Zoom therapy for a few weeks and really enjoyed it.
asembl: Best puppet based sitcom: Alf or Unhappily Ever After?
KR: Neither. It’s gotta be Crank Yankers for me.
When this is all over, you'll need to go out. And also re-introduce yourself to your friends.
asembl makes doing both easier and better. Never miss another concert, a comedy show from great comedians like Khalid Rahmaan or other event that you would have loved, never spend time figuring out who'd be the best people to invite to something. Just asembl and you're done.
Check out asembl for all the best things going on and the easiest way to gather a group to do those things with.
And while we're locked up, don't forget that there's a ton of cool stuff going on online, so check asembl out for that as well.
laura peek comedian comic comedy standup stand-up