Omid Djalili talks politics and Keith Richards ahead of Lancaster show

Comedian Omid Djalili
Comedian Omid Djalili

“You have to be a schmuck to do comedy in today’s climate,” said award winning comedian Omid Djalili who is coming to Lancaster this year.

Omid might now be known to millions for his roles in Hollywood blockbusters, but he started his career in fringe theatre, moving on to the theatres of central and eastern Europe in the early 90s, and then the alternative comedy circuit.

And although he’s swapped dingy pub rooms for the big theatres, it’s still live on stage doing stand-up where he’s at his best.

Djalili is hitting the road again with his new tour, ‘Schmuck for a Night,’ hitting the Lancaster Grand Theatre on Saturday November 5.

Critics said Omid’s new show is a mellower than any other tour.

Omid replied: “I’ve become less frenetic.

“I used to dance every two minutes in between the stand up. I can’t even remember why. It was mentioned to me that when I danced audiences were laughing at me not with me.

“So it was either stop dancing or ban my manager from the gigs.”

Omid has appeared on UK and US TV, and starred in films such as the recently Golden Globe and Oscar nominated Shaun the Sheep Movie, Mr Nice, Gladiator, Sex And The City 2, The Mummy and The Infidel.

From Brad Pitt to Russell Crowe, Omid has worked with a host of stars.

When asked who his favourite was, Omid said: “That’s a tough one.I’d say, and anyone who’s worked with him as an actor would agree, Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones, was probably the most extraordinary.

“He played the father of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 3’. His character shoots and kills my character for no reason.

“In fact, he shot me about 14 times and after each take he’d come up to me and say, ‘listen, you do know I don’t mean this?’ After every take. It was almost like a joke but it wasn’t.”

In August Omid produced an Edinburgh Fringe show called Iraq Out and Loud, which saw almost 1,500 comedians and members of the public read the entirety of the Chilcot Report for 24 hours a day, over 12 days.

The production was awarded the prestigious Panel Prize at Edinburgh Comedy Awards, and later TV Bomb’s Zeitgeist Award.

Schmuck for a Night will be shown at the Grand at 8pm and is suitable for ages 16 and over.

Tickets for the show cost £24 and are available by calling the box office on 01524 64695 or by visiting