A captive audience... | Comic who started stand-up when he was a prison inmate heads to the UK

A captive audience...

Comic who started stand-up when he was a prison inmate heads to the UK

A US comedian who started performing comedy while a prison inmate is to perform his first major British run next month.

Ali Siddiq from Houston, Texas, began doing stand-up to amuse his fellow inmates while serving six years on a 15-year sentence for trafficking cocaine 

‘In the darkest place, prison, you find that you don't want to be dark,’ he says of his dramatic change of career.

Siddiq was jailed when he was 19, but has now enjoyed a 20-year career as a comic.

And earlier this year, he recorded his first  Comedy Central special, It’s Bigger Than These Bars – and chose to shoot it at Bell County Jail in Texas.

Siddiq will be performing that show in the more comfortable surroundings of London’s Soho Theatre from  October 29 to  November 3.

His set revolves around his time inside, covering ‘everything from uncomfortable prison nudity to the time he doused himself in baby oil and refused to leave his cell’.

In an interview earlier this, he told the state’s Austen Chronicle that he still utilised his criminal past in one way, saying: ‘I’ve been a successful comic, but I still appropriate the drug-dealer mentality: I have a product to sell, and by any means I’m gonna sell this product.’

Published: 19 Sep 2018

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