COMEDY FOR A CAUSE
Join us for a night of laughs with Award Winning Comedian Nazareth. Seen by over 40 Million people around the world through live concerts, TV and Radio broadcasts. His list of TV appearances include: Comedy Central, ABC Family, NBC, CBS, and TBN.
Nazareth’s Comedy has reached millions on television broadcasts as varied on Comedy Central, The 700 Club, and the NBC Nightly News. He's toured with the Temptations and the Righteous Brothers with his act that appeal to all ages. Churches number among Nazareth’s favorite venues. Tough audience? No problem – Nazareth has entertained congressmen, IRS agents, death-row inmates, and leaders of America’s top corporations.
But behind Nazareth’s smashing success as one of America’s foremost “clean” comics is the saga of a scared, Palestinian kid. Raised in a strict but decidedly un-devout Christian home, as a young adult he found himself alone in America, where his heritage and identity clashed with the almost-anything-goes society.
Nazareth – yes, that's his real name – was born the youngest of three brothers in Jesus' hometown. But in Nazareth’s family, Jesus was just a famous guy from history whose house you went to on big holidays. Like his ancestors for generations before him, his parents were born into to an ancient Christian denomination called Greek Orthodox. Neither Nazareth’s mom nor dad liked Mass, so the family only attended when they figured they were supposed to. “I went to church on Christmas and Easter,” Nazareth says, “but it all sounded Greek to me.”
Nazareth’s parents wanted him to find a better life. So, in 1984 they sent Nazareth to college in Toledo to study engineering. To his mom that sounded safer than New York or California. But unlike in Gaza and Kuwait, even in docile-sounding Ohio Nazareth found no real restrictions on behavior. People did whatever they wanted.
On a lark Nazareth showed up at a California comedy club for open-mic night. At midnight he took the stage before a crowd of nine drunks. “They laughed so hard. One of them fell off his chair laughing,” Nazareth recollects. “I got hooked.”
So, the next day, he hit the Comedy Store's open-mic night. Within a few months, Nazareth was performing regularly at venues in Hollywood. For three years he worked almost daily at clubs around California, Arizona and Washington, including the nation's top comedy club, The Improv.
“I lived off the high of crowds cheering for me, hanging with the beautiful people and living a dream,” Nazareth says. “But my heart was totally empty. Success meant nothing. Unlike in the Middle East, I was free to do anything I wanted. But something was missing, and I wasn't free at all.
“Drugs didn't help. The Scientologists herded me in a sauna to sweat out everything that was wrong with me, but did nothing to fill that deep, abiding longing that nothing I tried could fix.”
The turning point came when Yamo, a clean Japanese American comic invited Nazareth to go to church.”
“God was after me. I couldn't escape.”
After years in Hollywood sharing the stage with comedians like Chris Rock, Adam Sandler and Kevin James and a promised Sitcom, Nazareth decides to accept the claims of Jesus Christ and leaves Hollywood to use his comedy for the Kingdom.
The New York Times reported about one of his performances saying, “The show had the audience convulsing.”
Nazareth made the dreadful call to his manager and quit his comedy career, but his pastor talked him into performing at the church. Overnight Nazareth cleaned up his act. He found himself once again before hundreds in a roaring crowd. God spoke to his heart that night with clear direction: Do comedy for Him.
What he discovered sent his career soaring: “I found I could be even funnier without the vulgarity,” he says. “And I had plenty to talk about.”
He is proud to be American. But most of all, comedy opens even the toughest audiences to hear the Good News that transformed his life. The 300-member Christian Comedy Association voted him its president for few years.
A Comedian by profession but an Evangelist at heart, Nazareth witnessed thousands of First-Time commitments to Christ following the invitation he offers towards the end of his comedy shows. His Laughter for All Outreaches at stadiums and arenas around the Country has brought laughter, Encouragement and Hope to Under-resourced people in hurting communities around the US.
Nazareth has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Crisis Pregnancy Centers and other non-profit organizations around the United States. He takes pride in the opportunity he has in bringing relief to our men and women in the Armed Forces in the U.S. and Germany. One of the roles that he takes great Joy in is being a director for a ministry that supports Christians in the Gaza Strip.
Added to that joy, is his role as co-founder of a ministry that reaches out to thousands of refugees fleeing Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Iran to find refuge in Southern California.
His new book, Hope in 24 Hours, endorsed by Josh McDowell, is an inspiration to people of all ages. Also his new Comedy Project Hurricane Abdul was released in late 2018.
Though he has the title of an award-winning comedian, his greatest credit is having the role as husband and father. Nazareth has been happily wed to his bride for over 22 years and is a father of 3 children. They reside in Southern California.