Salaam to you all. It has been just over 6 months since my last epic blog post. The reason for this delay is that my wife and I were blessed to go on the once in a lifetime trip to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, where we joined millions of others on the annual Hajj pilgrimage. More on this hopefully at a later date. In the mean time, just to ease myself back into blog related proceedings, please find below the best quotes from the BBC Asian Network’s Big Comedy Night. The show aired earlier this month, and was filmed at the prestigious BBC Radio Theatre in London. As always, I hope you enjoy!

Asian 2019

There’s this idea that you should see more people who look like you on the screen, so you can identify with a character. If it’s the same race as you, you feel like you can identify with that a bit more. I’m not sure how true that is because every single story we see on the screen is exactly the same. It’s called the hero’s journey. You’re simply watching a character struggling against insurmountable odds to achieve a certain end, and you’re identifying with that struggle. My mum only ever watches soaps like EastEnders, Coronation Street, and Emmerdale. Does she need to see more brown faces on there? No. She is perfectly happy watching white people struggle. Why change a winning formula? I think it’s great. Good for her. – Sunil Patel

My family have always celebrated Christmas, and I’m actually looking forward to it this year. As a kid I always used to love it because you got presents and that, and then when I was 16 they stopped giving me presents, so I absolutely hated it because what is the point of Christmas without capitalism? It makes no sense, right? – Sunil Patel

I’m actually a Brit with an American accent, which technically makes me disabled. – Ria Lina

I am half Asian. My mum’s Indian and my dad’s Swiss…My dad’s a taxi driver and he’s white, and it means a lot of people come into the back of his taxi and they can be quite racist sometimes, because they don’t know about me, his dirty little secret. But there was one guy that came into the back of his taxi and just started listing the reasons he didn’t like Muslim people. And he started with the normal stuff, job-stealing, bomb-making, halal-eating. The guy was sort of giving us the five pillars of Islamophobia, but he was getting so annoyed that the last reason he gave on the list was, “And they get woken up by a man shouting off a roof every morning.” Which I love. He’s like, “Not only are they a bunch of job-stealing, turban-wearing, pork-denying little pricks, but they’re also not getting their recommended eight hours sleep a day.” And I’m so proud of my dad because he’s white but he’s also the father of four mixed-race kids. At that moment, he turned around in the taxi, he looked the guy square in the eye and he said…absolutely nothing. Because five stars on Uber is more important than your moral code, isn’t it? Let’s be honest. – Jamie D’Souza

The French language is such a beautiful, romantic thing. It’s the little flicky thing above the é that does it for me. Anything you say sounds great. “Me and my fiancée went to a café and drank a latté.” Sounds nice. The German language, however, has the umlaut, the two dots, which is not quite the same. “I naïvely drank too much Jägermeister and threw up in my dad’s Über.” It’s not quite as good. – Jamie D’Souza

There was this girl called Eve and I asked her out and she said yes. I couldn’t believe my luck because she was so out of my league. She looked just like Mila Kunis…in that show Family Guy. I don’t know if you’ve seen that. We were a cute couple when we were going out. We used to play this little game where we’d count all the times we said “I love you” to each other. And I won 70-0! So a big win. A big win for me. – Jamie D’Souza

I am a proper vegan. The way my girlfriend Eve made me go vegan was this thing called Veganuary. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s one of those things you try out for a month based on a pun. She made me do Stoptober. She made me do Movember. Her dad made me do this thing called BNP March. Don’t know if you’ve heard of that. That was a tough one. – Jamie D’Souza

I’m mixed race. My mum is Indian. My dad is African. I’m not going to just joke about it all night because that’s serious. It’s difficult for me growing up and it’s still difficult. I still can’t decide which elephant is my favourite. – Athena Kugblenu

When I look at British cuisine, I realise that we’ve got to be nice to immigrants. A country that is wholly dependent on gravy has to be nicer to immigrants. You are entirely dependent on gravy! Imagine a roast dinner without gravy. What have you got? Meat and potatoes. Imagine bangers and mash without gravy. What have you got? Meat and potatoes. Imagine a shepherd’s pie without gravy. What have you got? Britain, you need us more than we need you. I’m telling you right now. – Athena Kugblenu

White privilege is a very hard concept to understand. It’s really hard. I like to explain it to people. People like to talk to me about it. I’ve got a good friend, an older white dude, and he’s like, “Athena, Athena! How can you tell me I’ve got white privilege? I’m just like you. I’m poor.” Obviously, you guys are intelligent. You know that’s nonsense. He probably knew it was nonsense too deep down. I didn’t have a go at him. I just said to him, “No, no, no, no, no. Having white privilege doesn’t mean you’re not going to be poor. It just means if you are poor, it’s more likely to be your fault. You’ve had a lot of help. You had that nice name. Basically, I’m in Poundland because of slavery, what’s your excuse?” – Athena Kugblenu

So I’m Isma and when I was born, my mum gave me a really lovely Muslim name. My mum named me Asma. Dead easy to spell, A-S-M-A. And Muslim names have an Arabic translation. And in Arabic Asma means supreme. Great name for a girl. So my dad went to the registry office to register my birth, and when he got there…he forgot what my name was! So he had a guess. And my dad registered me as Isma, I-S-M-A. And thankfully Isma also has an Arabic translation. So in Arabic, if you’re going to say to somebody, “What’s your name?” You’d say, “Ma isma ka?” My name literally means “name”. It’s like he saw the registration form and the line where it said name, and he thought, “Great suggestion! That’ll do.” – Isma Almas

My daughter got three A-stars in her A-levels. There’s nothing remotely funny about that whatsoever. But as an Asian parent, I’m obliged to tell you her grades. – Isma Almas

My mum gave me a little bit of advice when I was a kid. I used to get bullied and I came home from school one day and I told my mum that this girl had called me a Paki and that she’d pulled my hair. And my mum said to me, “Isma, we are Muslims. Islam is a peaceful religion. Allah will show us a way.” And I thought that was such lovely advice. And then the next day, I got up to go to school and my mum had filled my school bag with pebbles. And I remember her saying to me, “Now, Isma, go to school. And at playtime, stone the bitch to death!…Peacefully.” – Isma Almas