Moe Ismail, an Egyptian-Canadian stand-up comedian and York alum, has been a stand-up comedian for more than a decade. Hailing from Scarborough, Ontario he has toured across Canada and the U.S., and has been featured on various platforms including SiriusXM. Now, he discusses his newest comedy album, Homeroom Habibi, his career as a teacher, and his approach to comedy.
“I have been fortunate enough to travel across this beautiful nation, making people laugh all over. I also love going to Costco and just vibing out. Sometimes I won’t even buy anything….what an awesome place,” says Ismail.
Holding two degrees in sociology and education from York, Ismail also works as an elementary school teacher, just like his mother. “She’s one of the most amazing people I know. I’ve always wanted to be the cool teacher — I’m still working on that,” says Ismail.
His material addresses “cultural and religious perspectives,” being a teacher, and other life struggles, and recently released a stand-up comedy album called Homeroom Habibi.
“This album is a collection of all my best work from the past twelve years of doing stand-up. I feel like it’s representative of who and where I am at this point in my life. I cover a lot on this album from my cultural and religious perspectives to reflecting on my teaching career and personal life. It’s really dope, you should check it out,” says Ismail.
Ismail opens up about his introduction into the world of comedy, “I used to work at this call centre, and my homie Jerome used to work in the cubicle right next to mine. In between calls we would crack jokes and make fun of people’s names. He started suggesting that I try stand-up comedy. So, I started going to all these open-mics and fell in love with it immediately.”
Ismail adds that he often finds humour in everything and that he doesn’t like to take anything too seriously. “I think everything is hilarious. To be honest, it has been an ongoing issue throughout my life — I failed so many classes in high school because I hated taking anything seriously. I was also lucky enough to grow up with one of the funniest people I know, my older brother Ahmed,” he continues.
Ismail will be going on a nationwide tour this November called They’re Going Places with Abbas Wahab and Jesse Singh. The tour will begin in Newfoundland and end in British Columbia.
To learn more about Homeroom Habibi and about Ismail, click here.