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New VOA Persian Program Shows Lighter Side of American Life


WASHINGTON, D.C. —Comedy is back in the weekly lineup of the Persian Service of the Voice of America. The host of the new half-hour talk show, created exclusively for VOA, is Iranian-American Max Amini, one of the most famous comedians of the Farsi-speaking world.

Called Minutes with Max Amini, the new show is family friendly and, using a format popular on many late-night talk shows in the United States, focuses strictly on entertainment. And whether he is mocking a popular video or interviewing a celebrity, Amini’s talent for the perfect ad lib – in English or Farsi – ensures he is always entertaining, especially to younger audiences.

Born in Tucson, Arizona to Iranian parents, Amini graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television in 2004. He began his standup comedy career at the LA Improv and in 2006 became a resident comic at the famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood.

Today, he headlines shows in England, Australia, Malaysia, and many other countries, and his performances have garnered millions of views on YouTube. He also has over 50 film and television credits, including regular stints on Comedy Central’s Mind of Mencia.

“Minutes with Max Amini is a great new addition to our programming lineup," said Setareh Derakhshesh, Director of VOA’s Persian Service. "With his sharp eye for current affairs, Max is a master of satire and his rapier wit will help our viewers in Iran and the entire region discover a lighter side of America."

Amini’s agreement to do the VOA show came at a time when several other TV stations were negotiating with him. When asked why he chose the Persian Service offer, Amini said, “VOA showed the most interest and respect” for his work.

Minutes with Max Amini is taped in Farsi in front of a live audience in Los Angeles, which has the largest Iranian-American community in the United States. The show premiered Thursday in Iran on VOA Persian and will be seen every Thursday from now on at 11 p.m. (Tehran time).

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