Interview with comedian Fatlum Rexhepi

Fatlum Rexhepi is a stand-up Comedian, actor, and human rights activist. To be more specific he is the first comic from Kosovo to perform in English. The founder of The Jewslim Show, a stand-up comedy show in Vienna and the founder of the Comic Union and Entertainment agency based in Kosovo. He lives in Vienna, Austria but originally he is from Kosovo. His comedy relies on self-jokes, race, religion, life etc. We have conducted an interview with him.

As a stand-up Comedian and actor, where do you normally get your inspirations for your comedy?
I get my inspirations from daily events. I grew up in a rebuilding country after the war in Kosovo, and everything you did during that time was a challenge. In a third world country, there's always enough to talk about, you just have to find the funny way of saying things. We laugh through pain, so I decided to tell my story in a funny way. I started out talking about my country but comedy is something that gives you space to talk about a lot of things so you get inspired to talk about actual events, world problems, stories from your life, race, religion and so on.

When did you discover 'The Jewslim Show'? What are the highlights of this show and what is your story?
The Jewslim Show is a project I've been working for a long time with the Jewish comedian Tamas Vamos. It took us months of planning to finally organize it in October, November and now in February. The Jewslim Show is a stand-up comedy show where a Jew (Tamas Vamos) and a Muslim (Fatlum Rexhepi) have a mission to join forces to make people laugh and tell the world that we can work together. So far people have really loved the idea, liked the show and are very supportive. The show is 1h long and we also invite other comedians around the world to perform with us.

Being the first comic from Kosovo, with which perspective did you use to make an impression with your comedy?
Well, stand up comedy in Kosovo was never a popular thing. There are some guys who did comedy in Albanian, but nobody before in English, so I decided to do it internationally. I am the first one to do so, but I hope there will be more. When I first started out I thought that I can make jokes about my country but also bring a positive view of Kosovo to the audience and so far it has been great. With this world full of stereotypes comedy is the best thing to change opinions and give information to people. There's always a truth in a joke. But why I started it? People love to laugh, and I love to make people laugh. So I'll keep using this gift of talking and making people laugh until they stop laughing. Then I guess I will have to look for another profession.

What are your background experiences in the Entertainment industry?
To be honest I never thought that I would join Entertainment industry. But doing it I have learned that the industry is something that has a big influence on people nowadays, and I would love to reach that level when I can have influence for good.

How do you intend to make your stand up comedy show more popular? Are there videos or previews about your performances?
Right now I am not interested in gaining popularity. I am still young and I have a lot of things to learn and to improve. I do comedy for fun! But I do have a few videos on Youtube just to make people aware of my comedy style and to get to know me.

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