The BBC World Service is launching a new topical comedy podcast and radio series – Comedians vs.The News – hosted by New York City comedians Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini.
Each week Jess and Eman will also be joined by two international comedians to take on the headlines and find the funny in the stories the world is talking about.
Jess is a Jewish Canadian comedian who used to be a UN war crimes lawyer before starting a career in comedy, and Eman is a Muslim Palestinian Canadian whose family fled Kuwait in 1990.
They are a married couple who often riff about their different backgrounds, describing themselves as “basically a living breathing current event”.
Featuring some of the world’s best comic talent, the series launches on 30th August, running weekly until November, and will tackle everything topical in the news from the US Presidential campaign, the pandemic and global protest movements, to pop culture and the quirkiest stories from around the world.
Jess Salomon says: “Before comedy I worked at the UN as a war crimes lawyer, you know, until I decided it was time to get serious. Something about me is that when I first heard Beyoncé sing ‘Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation’ I heard, ‘Okay ladies, now let’s get information’ and I thought, that seems like a sensible plan.
“Comedians vs The News feels like something the globe needs right now, because who better to make sense of what’s going on than people who spend their nights in basements trying to win over drunk strangers? I’m excited to break it down, build it back up, turn it on its head and other buzz words. We’re ready to non-violently take on the News and beat it into submission.
“My hope for this show is that it will play a hand in achieving world peace, eradicate poverty, lower the sea levels and bring back animals that have gone extinct. But ultimately it will be the Nobel Committee that will have to make that determination.”
Eman El-Husseini says: “Before comedy I was studying Political Science in university because my parents had finally come to terms with me not becoming a doctor and settled for the next Prime Minister of Canada.
“With this show we’ll be hoping to heal the world’s woes one joke at a time. I’m hoping to be the Jacinda Ardern of radio shows. The beauty of comedy is how we can address serious issues lightly – and look for some levity and positivity in this crazy time we are living in.
“I love the news, I love comedy and I love my voice. I feel like I hit the jackpot making a show tailored specifically for me. Great casting, BBC World Service!!”
Comedians vs The News launches as a topical podcast and on air on the BBC World Service on 30th August.